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BOOK 940.P384 1st ser v.6 c. 1 

3 T153 OOElEblM 4 


Vol. VI. Series for 1899. 

Translations and Reprints 


Original Sources of European History 



Philadelphia, Pa., 1900. 

English Agency: P. S. KING & SON, 2 & 4 Great Smith St., Westminster, 

London, S. W. 




I. French Philosophers of the Eighteenth Century. 

Edited by Merrick WhiTCOMb, Ph. D. 

II. The X. Y. Z. Letters. 

Edited by HERMAN V. AMES, Ph. D., and 
John Bach McMaster, Li?t. D. 

III. The Early Germans. 

Edited by Arthur C. Howi^and, Ph. D. 

IV. Notitia Dignitatum or Register of Dignitaries. 

Edited by Wiwjam Faireey, D. D., Ph. D. 

V. Laws of Charles the Great. 

Edited by Dana Cari,eton Munro, A. M. 


Roman numerals refer to the numbers; Arabic numerals to the pages. 

Alamanni: Battle with, ill. jo. 

Ammianus Marcellinns : Extract from the XVIth 

Book describing a battle with the Alamanni, in. 30. 
Am-mianus Marcellinus : Extract from the XXVIIth 

Book illustrating Roman policy in dealing with 

the Germans, 
Army of Charles the Great : Laws, 
Angus tal Prefect, 
B arras: Speech of President, 
Bibliographical Note, 
Bibliography of X. Y. Z. Letters, 
Ccesar : Extract from the Gallic War, 
Capitularies relating to the Army, 
Capitularies relatijig to Education, 
u Capitulatio de partibus Saxonioe" 

Charles the Great : Laws for Army, 
Charles the Great : Laws for Education, 
Charles the Great ; Letter of, ' ' De litteris colendis, "v. 12. 
Chiefs of the notaries, > IV. 75, JJ. 





















\ 14, 







Consular of Palestine \ of Campania, 

Correctoj of Apidia and Calabria, 

Count of the Egyptian frontier, 

Counts of the household horse and foot, 

Counts of the pi-ivate domain, 

Counts of the sacred bounties, 

D^Alembert: Friars of La Charite, 

" De Litteris Colendis," 

Despatches of American Envoys, 

Diderot : The Philosopher, 

Division of the Kingdoms, 806, 

Duke of Scythia, of the Armorican tract, 

Education under Charles the Great, 

Entile: Extracts from, 

Envoys of the United States to France: Despatches 

Envoys of the United States to France : Instructions to, I. 
Envoys of the United States to France : Letters to 

u Epistola Generalis Karoli," 
Friars oj La Charite : by D" Alembert, 
Fulrad : Letter to, 

Fundamental Laws : Voltaire concerning, 
Gallic War : Extracts from, 
General Capitulary for the " Missi," 802, 
German Guard : fosephus concerning, 
Germany : Tacitus, 

IV - T 9,39- 





iv. 14,35. 

!V- 13,33- 

IV. 12, 












iv. 19 

)3 8. 







to, 1. 



I- 25 



















Gerry : Correspo7idence with Talleyrand, I. ji, j?. 

Hanteval: Letter of, to Talleyrand, I. j2. 

Holbach : Extracts from the System of Nature, I. 26. 

Insignia of the master of the offices, iv. 28. 

Josephus : Extract from the Antiquities of the Jews 

regarding the condtict of the Gerinan Guard on 

the micrder of Caligula, 
1 ' Karoli Epistola Generalis, ' ' 
Letter of Charles to Abbot Fulrad, 
Masters of bureaus, 
Masters of the offices, 
Masters of soldiery, 

Memorial to the King : Extracts from, 
u Mis si": General Capitulary for, 
Montesquieu : Extracts from the Persian Letters, 
Montesquieu : Extracts from the Spirit of the Laws, 
Persian Letters : Extracts from, 
Philosopher, the : by Diderot, 
Philosophical Dictionary : Extracts from, 
President of Thebais, of Dalmatia, 
Pretorian prefects, 
Proconsul of Asia, 
Provost of the sacred bedchamber, 

Roman Policy in dealing with Germans, 
Rousseau : Extract from Emile, 
Rousseau : Extracts from the Social Contract, 


2 7- 





iv. 15,35- 



iv. 8, 10 






ers, 1. 


Laws, 1. 








iv. 20, 


IV. 5,7,22, 

2 3 . 





IV. 12, 

t JO. 








Saxony: " Capitulatio" concerning, 

Sieyes : Extract from ' ' What is the Third Estate 

Social Contract : Extracts from, 

Spirit of the Laws : Extracts from, 

System of Nature : Extracts from, 

Tacitus: Germany, 

Talleyrand : Correspondence of, 

Talleyrand : Interview of American Envoys with, 

Talleyrand : Letters of American Envoys to, 

" Third Estate, What is the .-" Extracts from, 

Turgot : Extract from Memorial to the King, 

Vicar of Asia, 

Voltaire : Concerning Fundamental Laws, 

Voltaire : Extracts from the Philosophical Dictionary, I. 

X. Y. Z. Letters, 



" I. 

3 2 < 













I. 2 5 , 










y> i. 




Translations and Reprints 


Voi<. VI. French Philosophers of the Eighteenth Century. No. I. 


I. Montesquieu. 

Extract from the Persian Letters .... 2 

Extracts from the Spirit of the Laws -3 

II. Voltaire. 

Concerning Fundamental Laws 7 

Extracts from the Philosophical Dictionary 9 

III. Rousseau. 

Extracts from the Social Contract 14 

Extract from Emile 16 

IV. Diderot. 

The Philosopher « . 20 

V. D'AlembERT. 

Friars of La Charite 24 

VI. Holbach. 

Extracts from the System of Nature 26 

VII. Turgot. 

Extract from Memorial to the King 28 

VIII. Sieves. 

Extract from "What is the Third Estate?" 32 



Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu was born 
at the chateau of La Brede, ten miles from Bordeaux, in January, 1689. 
His title of Montesquieu came from his uncle, Jean Baptiste Secondat, who 
left to his nephew the important office of president d mortier in the Parle- 
ment of Bordeaux. His early years were studious and uneventful. His 
parents were in comfortable circumstances and his future assured. In 17 13 
he was admitted counsellor of the Parlement. In 1716, upon the death of 
Jean Baptiste, he succeeded to the uncle's name, fortune and judicial posi- 
tion. In 1726 Montesquieu sold the life tenure of his presidency, with re- 
version to his son; and for the remainder of his life devoted himself to travel 
and literary work. He died on the 10th of February, 1755. 

Montesquieu's chief literary works are the Lettres Persanes, a work of the 
earlier years of his presidency; Considerations sur les Causes de la Grandeur 
et la Dicadence des Romains, which appeared anonymously in 1734, at 
Amsterdam; and the Esprit des Lois, his most serious production and the 
source of his enduring fame, published at Geneva in 1748. 

The most important biography of Montesquieu is by Louis Viau (Vie de 
Montesquieu, 2d ed., Paris, 1879). Cf. Lowell: Eve of the French Revolu- 
tion, Cap. X. The best edition of Montesquieu's works is by B. Laboulaye, 
7 vols., Paris, 1875-79. Cf., in English, The Spirit of the Laws, translated 
by Thomas Nugent, 2 vols., London, 1878. 



Usbek to Ibben in Smyrna. 

The king of France is an old man. We have no instance in 
our history of a monarch that has reigned so long. They say he 
possesses to an extraordinary degree the talent of making himself 
obeyed. He governs with the same ability his family, his court, 
his state. He has often been heard to say that of all the govern- 
ments of the world, that of the Turks or that of our own august 
sultan pleased him most, so greatly he affected the oriental style 
of politics. 

I have made a study of his character, and I find contradictions 
which I am unable to reconcile: for example, he has a minister 
who is only eighteen years old, and a mistress who is eighty; he 
is devoted to religion, and he cannot endure those who say it must 
be rigorously observed; although he flees the tumult of the city 
and has intercourse with few, yet he is occupied from morning 

* Lettres Persanes de Montesquieu. Ed. L. Thiesse\ P. 1834, pp. 85-87. 


until night in making himself 'talked about; he loves trophies and 
victories, but he is afraid of seeing a good general at the head of 
his troops, lest he should have cause to fear the chief of a hostile 
army. He is the only one, I believe, to whom it has ever hap- 
pened that he was at the same time overwhelmed with more riches 
than a prince might hope to possess and burdened with a poverty 
that a private person would be unable to bear. 

He loves to gratify those that serve him; but he rewards the 
efforts, or rather the indolence, of his courtiers more liberally than 
the arduous campaigns of his captains. Often he prefers a man 
whose duty it is to disrobe him or hand him his napkin when he 
seats himself at dinner, to another who takes cities or wins him 
battles. He believes that the sovereign grandeur ought not to be 
limited in the distribution of favors; and without investigating as 
to whether the one upon whom he heaps benefits is a man of 
merit, he believes that his choice renders him such; so that he 
has been seen to give a small pension to a man who had run two 
leagues, and a fine government to another who had run four. 

He is magnificent, especially in his buildings. There are more 
statues in the gardens of his palace than there are citizens in a 
great city. His guard is as strong as that of the prince before 
whom all thrones are overturned; his armies are as numerous, his 
resources are as great and his finances as inexhaustible. 

Paris, the jth of the moon of Maharram, 17 13. 



From Book I. Cap. 3. 

Besides the law of nations relating to all societies, there is a 

polity or civil constitution for each particularly considered. No 

society can subsist without a form of government. The united 

strength of individuals ; as Gravina well observes, constitutes what 

we call the body politic. 

The general strength may be in the hands of a single person, 
or of many. Some think that nature having established paternal 
authority, the most natural government was that of a single 
person. But the example of paternal authority proves nothing. 

* Translated by Thomas Nugent, LL. D. 2 vols. London. G. Bell & 
Sons, 1878. 


For if the power of a father relates to a single government, that of 
brothers after the death of a father, and that of cousins-german after 
the decease of brothers refer to a government of many. The polit- 
ical power necessarily comprehends the union of several families. 

Better it is to say, that the government most conformable to 
nature is that which best agrees with the humour and disposition 
of the people in whose favour it is established. 

The strength of individuals cannot be united without a con- 
junction of all their wills. The conjunction of those wills, as 
Gravina again very justly observes, is what we call the civil state. 

Law in general is human reason, inasmuch as it governs all the 
inhabitants of the earth ; the political and civil laws of each 
nation ought to be only the particular cases in which human 
reason is applied. 

They should be adapted in such a manner to the people for 
whom they are framed, that it should be a great chance if those 
of one nation suit another. 

They should be in relation to the nature and principle of each 
government; whether they form it, as may be said of politic laws; 
or whether they support it, as in the case of civil institutions. 

They should be in relation to the climate of each country, to 
the quality of its soil, to its situation and extent, to the principal 
occupation of the natives, whether husbandmen, huntsmen, or 
shepherds : they should have relation to the degree of liberty 
which the constitution will bear; to the religion of the inhab- 
itants, to their inclinations, riches, numbers, commerce, manners 
and customs. In fine, they have relations to each other, as also 
to their origin, to the intent of the legislator, and to the order of 
things on which they are established; in all of which different 
lights they ought to be considered. 

Book VIII. Cap. i6-20 y passim. 
It is natural for a republic to have only a small territory ; other- 
wise it cannot long subsist. In an extensive republic there are 
men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation ; there 
are trusts too considerable to be placed in any single subject ; he 
has interests of his own ; he soon begins to think that he may be 
happy and glorious by oppressing his fellow- citizens ; and that 
he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country. 


In an extensive republic the public good is sacrificed to a thous- 
and private views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends 
on accidents. In a small one the interest of the public is more 
obvious, better understood, and more within the reach of every 
citizen; abuses have less extent, and, of course, are less protected. 

A monarchical state ought to be of moderate extent. Were it 
small, it would form itself into a republic; were it very large, the 
nobility, possessed of great estates, far from the eye of the prince, 
with a private court of their own, and secure, moreover, from sud- 
den executions by the laws and manners of the country — such a 
nobility, I say, might throw off their allegiance, having nothing 
to fear from too slow and too distant a government. 

A large empire supposes a despotic authority in the person who 
governs. It is necessary that the quickness of the prince's reso- 
lutions should supply the distance of the places they are sent to; 
that fear should prevent the remissness of the distant governor or 
magistrate; that the law should be derived from a single person, 
and should shift continually, according to the accidents which 
necessarily multiply in a state in proportion to its extent. 


Book XVII, Chap. 6. 

In Asia they have always had great Empires; in Europe these 
could never subsist. Asia has larger plains; it is cut out into 
much more extensive divisions by mountains and seas; and as it 
lies more to the south, its springs are more easily dried up; the 
mountains are less covered with snow; and the rivers being not 
so large, form more contracted barriers. 

Power in Asia ought then to be always despotic; for if their 
slavery was not severe they would soon make a division incon- 
sistent with the nature of the country. 

In Europe the natural division forms many nations of a mod- 
erate extent, in which the ruling by laws is not incompatible 
with the maintenance of the state; on the contrary, it is so 
favorable to it, that without this the state would fall into decay, 
and become a prey to its neighbors. 

It is this which has formed a genius for liberty that renders 
every part extremely difficult to be subdued and subjected to a 


foreign power, otherwise than by the laws and the advantage of 

On the contrary, there reigns in Asia a servile spirit, which 
they have never been able to shake off, and it is impossible to 
find in all the histories of that country a single passage that dis- 
covers a freedom of spirit; we shall never see anything there but 
the excess of slavery. 


Francois Marie Arouet was born in Paris, November 21, 1694. His father 
was a prosperous notary. Voltaire was sent to the Jesuit school of Louis- 
le-Grand in 1704 and remained there until 1711. His father desired that he 
should take up a legal career, but Voltaire's tastes were already inclined 
towards letters, chiefly through the influence of his god-father, the abbe" de 
Chateauneuf, by whom he was introduced into the fashionable literary set 
of the metropolis. Voltaire's first literary efforts were dramatic. He early 
acquired fame, and by the great variety of his talents and his remarkable 
intellectual industry rose to the position of the foremost man of letters of 

Voltaire's life was never marred or embittered with povert} 7 . He pos- 
sessed the qualities, rare in the case of literary men, of a successful manager. 
His aristocratic connections gave him especial opportunities for the invest- 
ment of his patrimony, and in this manner he acquired a fortune. 

Much of Voltaire's life was spent out of France. He was in England 
from 1726 to 1729, and his English admirers, and critics as well, are 
fond of the suggestion that from this sojourn he drew the major part of 
his substantial inspiration. From 1751 until 1753 he was at Berlin, the 
guest of Frederick the Great. In 1754, believing that his liberal opinions 
endangered his return to France, he acquired a property near Geneva, at 
the meeting-place of four national territories. Here at Ferney he remained 
in epistolary touch with all the leading minds of Europe, and exercised a 
potent influence for the extension of rational ideas. During this period his 
tireless efforts in defense of the victims of religious and political tyranny in 
France constitute the most admirable chapter of his life. In February, 1778, 
Voltaire visited Paris, in order to be present at the initial performance of a 
new tragedy, Irene, and was received with unbounded enthusiasm. He died 
on May 30th of the same year. 

Voltaire's literary activity was so great that only the briefest account of 
his works can be given here. It is usual to divide them into groups: 
dramatic, poetical, romantic, scientific, historical, philosophical and epis- 
tolary. Of these, all but the last three groups may remain unnoticed here. 
The historical group embraces the Histoire de Charles XII, Histoire de 
Vempire de Russie sous Pierre le Grand, Siecle de Louis XIV, Steele de 
Louis XV, and the Essai sur les Moeurs, a general genetic treatment of 


history, and a distinct advance upon what had hitherto been produced. 
The philosophical group has for its most important work the Dictionnaire 
Philosophique y a series of rationalistic essays, alphabetically arranged, 
which exhibit Voltaire's critical powers and total lack of modern historical 
perspective. Voltaire's letters are of great interest, both as showing his 
mastery of style and his position as intellectual counsellor of Europe. The 
name of Voltaire was originally assumed for literary purposes, and is of 
uncertain origin. 

Much has been written about Voltaire, but the greater part has no value 
for the student, bearing as it does the blemish of theological prejudice. 
The best known biography in French is undoubtedly that of Condorcet (ist 
ed., Paris, 1787). In later times a sympathetic and at the same time critical 
essay is that of John Morley. Cf. James Parton's Life of Voltaire. There 
are many editions of Voltaire's works. The so-called edition of Kehl (70 
vols., P. 1785-89) is perhaps as good as any. 


B. I have always heard talk of fundamental laws, but is there 
any such thing ? 

A. Yes, there is the law of being just; and nothing funda- 
mental was ever more often shaken. 

C. I read not long ago one of those very rare bad books, 
which the curious are always searching for, as naturalists collect 
fragments of petrified animal and vegetable substances, imagin- 
ing that in this way they will discover the secret of nature. 
This book was written by a lawyer of Paris, named Louis 
Dorleans, who pleaded strongly against Henry IV. before the 
League, and who fortunately lost his suit. See how this juris- 
consult expresses himself concerning the fundamental laws of the 
kingdom of France. ' ' The fundamental law of the Hebrews was 
that lepers could not reign: Henry IV. is a heretic, hence he is 
leprous, hence he cannot be king of France according to the 
fundamental law of the Church. The law contemplates that a 
king of France shall be a Christian as well as a male; whoever 
holds not to the Catholic faith, Apostolic and Roman, is not a 
Christian and does not believe in God; he may no more be king 
of France than the greatest jackanapes in the world," etc. 

It is very true that at Rome every man who does not believe in 
the pope is a disbeliever in God; but that is not so absolutely true 
in the rest of the world; it is necessary to make some little restric- 

* Oeavres completes de Voltaire. Edition Kehl. Vol. 35, pp. 332-336. 


tion: and it seems to me that, taking everything into considera- 
tion, Master Louis Dorleans, advocate to the Parlement of Paris, 
did not reason quite so well as Cicero and Demosthenes. 

B. It would please me to see what would become of the funda- 
mental law of the Holy Roman Empire, if some day the electors 
should take a fancy to choose a Protestant Caesar in that charm- 
ing city of Frankfort-on-Main. 

A. The same thing would happen which has happened already 
to the fundamental law that fixes the number of electors at seven, 
because there are seven heavens, and because the candlestick of a 
Jewish temple had seven branches. 

Is it not a fundamental law in France that the domain of the 
King is inalienable? How is it then that it is almost wholly 
alienated ? You will say that all these foundations are laid upon 
shifting sand. The laws which they call fundamental laws are, 
like all others, nothing more than laws of convention, of ancient 
usage, of ancient prejudice, which change according to the times. 
Ask the Romans of to-day if they have preserved the fundamental 
laws of the ancient Roman republic. It was well that the domains 
of the kings of England, France and Spain should remain attached 
to the crown when the kings lived as you and I, from the product 
of their lands; but to-day, when they live exclusively from taxes 
and imposts, what matters it whether they possess the domains 
or not ? When Francis I. failed in his promise to Charles V. , his 
conqueror, when in this connection he violated his oath to yield 
up Burgundy to him, he caused it to be represented by his lawyers 
that the Burgundians were inalienable; but if Charles V. had come 
to him to make representations to the contrary at the head of a 
great army, the Burgundians would have been quite alienable. 

Franche-Comte, whose fundamental law was to be free under 
the house of Austria, is attached to-day in an intimate and essen- 
tial manner to the crown of France. The Swiss once held materi- 
ally to the empire, and now hold materially to liberty. 

It is this liberty which is the fundamental law of all nations; it 
is the only law against which there is no proscription, because it 
is the law of nature. The Romans might say to the pope : our 
fundamental law at the start was to have a king who reigned over 
a league of country; then it was to elect two consuls, then two 
tribunes; then our fundamental law was to be devoured by an 
emperor, then to be devoured by the peoples come from the north, 


then to be in a state of anarchy, then to die of hunger under the 
government of a priest. At length we return to the true funda- 
mental law, which is to be free: go and give elsewhere your 
indulgences in articulo mortis, and go forth from the Capitol, 
which was not built for you ! 

B. Amen ! 

C. You cannot help hoping that the thing will arrive some day. 
It would be a fine sight for our grandchildren. 

A. Would to Heaven that the grandparents might have the 
pleasure! It is of all revolutions the easiest to bring about; and 
meanwhile no one thinks of it. 

B. It is because, as you have said, the chief characteristic of 
men is to be sots and poltroons. The Roman rats are not yet 
knowing enough to bell the cat. 

C. Shall we not admit then any fundamental law whatsoever ? 
A. Liberty embraces all. That the agriculturist should not be 

vexed by a tyrant's minion; that no citizen should be imprisoned 
without immediate trial before his natural judges, who shall de- 
cide between him and his prosecutor; that no one shall take from 
a man his meadow or his vineyard, under pretext of the public 
good, without ample recompense; that they shall seek the people's 
good, instead of wishing to rule over them in fattening on their 
substance; that the law, and not caprice shall reign. 
C. The human race is ready to endorse all that. 



Since framers of systems are continually conjecturing on the 
manner in which America can have been peopled, we will be 
equally constant in saying that He who caused flies to exist in 
those regions, caused men to exist there also. However pleasant 
it may be to dispute, it cannot be denied that the Supreme Being 
who lives in all nature has created, about the forty-eighth degree, 
two-legged animals without feathers, the colour of whose skin is 
a mixture of white and carnation, with long beards approaching 
to red; about the line, in Africa and its islands, negroes without 
beards; and in the same latitude, other negroes with beards, some 
of them having wool and some hair on their heads; and among 

* London: W. Dugdale, Vol. I., passim. . 


them other animals quite white, having neither hair nor wool, 
but a kind of white silk. It does not very clearly appear what 
should have prevented God from placing on another continent 
animals of the same species, of a copper colour, in the same lati- 
tude in which, in Africa and Asia, they are found black; or even 
from making them without beards in the very same latitude in 
which others possess them. 

To what lengths are we carried b}^ the rage for system joined 
with the tyranny of prejudice! We see these animals; it is 
agreed that God has had the power to place them where they 
are; yet it is not agreed that He has so placed them. The same 
persons who readily admit that the beavers of Canada are of 
Canadian origin, assert that the men must have come there in 
boats, and that Mexico must have been peopled by some of the 
descendants of Magog. As well might it be said, that if there be 
men in the moon, they must have been taken thither by Astolpho 
on his hippogriff, when he went to fetch Roland's senses which 
were corked up in a bottle. If America had been discovered in 
his time, and there had then been men in Europe systematic 
enough to have advanced, with the Jesuit Eafitan, that the Car- 
ribees descended from the inhabitants of Caria, and the Hurons 
from the Jews, he would have done well to have brought back 
the bottle containing the wits of these reasoners, which he doubt- 
less would have found in the moon, along with those of Angelica's 

The first thing done when an inhabited island is discovered in 
the Indian Ocean, or in the South Seas, is to enquire "whence 
came these people ? ' ' but as for the trees and the tortoises, they 
are, without any hesitation, pronounced to be indigenous; as if it 
was more difficult for Nature to make men than to make tortoises. 
One thing, however, which tends to countenance this system is, 
that there is scarcely an Island in the Eastern or the Western 
Ocean, which does not contain jugglers, quacks, knaves, and 
fools. This, it is probable, gave rise to the opinion that these 
animals are of the same race with ourselves. 


We know that all belief taught by the church is a dogma which 
we must embrace. It is a pity that there are dogmas received by 
the Latin church and rejected by the Greek. But if unanimity is 


wanting, charity replaces it. It is, above all, between hearts 
that union is required. 

I think that we can relate a dream to the purpose, which has 
already found favor in the estimation of many peaceably disposed 

II On the 1 8th of February, in the year 1763 of the vulgar era, 
the sun entering the sign of the Fishes, I was transported to 
Heaven, as all my friends can bear witness. The mare Borac, of 
Mahomet, was not my steed, neither was the fiery chariot of 
Elijah my carriage. I was not carried on the elephant of Somon- 
ocodom, the Siamese; on the horse of St. George, the patron of 
England; nor on St. Anthony's pig. I avow with frankness that 
my journey was made I know not how. 

11 It will be easily believed that I was dazzled; but it will not 
so easily be credited that I witnessed the judgment of the dead. 
And who were the judges? They were — do not be displeased 
at it — all those who have done good to man. Confucius, Solon, 
Socrates, Titus, Antoninus, Epictetus, Charron, DeThou, Chan- 
cellor de l'H6pital, and all the great men who, having taught and 
practised the virtues that God requires, seemed to be the only 
persons possessing the right of pronouncing His decrees. 

" I remarked that every spirit who pleaded his cause, and dis- 
played his specious pretensions, had beside him all the witnesses 
of his actions. For example, when Cardinal Lorraine boasted of 
having caused some of his opinions to be adopted by the Council 
of Trent, and demanded eternal life as the price of his orthodoxy, 
there immediately appeared around him twenty ladies of the 
court, all bearing on their foreheads the number of their inter- 
views with the cardinal. I also saw those who had concerted 
with him the foundations of the infamous league. All the 
accomplices of his wicked designs surrounded him. 

"Over against Cardinal Lorraine was John Calvin, who boasted, 
in his gross patois, of having trampled upon the papal idol, after 
others had overthrown it. * I have written against painting and 
sculpture,' said he; 'I have made it apparent that good works 
are of no avail, and I have proved that it is diabolical to dance a 
minuet. Send away Cardinal Lorraine quickly, and place me by 
the side of St. Paul.' 

"As he spoke there appeared by his side a lighted pile; a 
dreadful spectre, wearing around his neck a Spanish frill, arose 


half burnt from the midst of the flames, with dreadful shrieks. 
'Monster,' cried he; 'execrable monster, tremble, recognize that 
Servetus, whom thou causedst to perish by the most cruel tor- 
ments, because he had disputed with thee on the manner in which 
three persons can form one substance.' Then all the judges com- 
manded that Cardinal Lorraine should be thrown into the abyss, 
but that Calvin should be punished still more rigorously. 

" I saw a prodigious crowd of spirits, each of which said, 'I 
have believed, I have believed!' but on their forehead it was 
written, ' I have acted,' and they were condemned. 

The Jesuit Le Tellier appeared boldly with the bull Unigenitus 
in his hand. But there suddenly arose at his side a heap, con- 
sisting of two thousand lettres-de-cachet. A Jansenist set fire to 
them, and I^e Tellier was burnt to a cinder; while the Jansenist, 
who had no less caballed than the Jesuit, had his share of the 

"I saw approach, from right and left, troops of fakirs, talapoins, 
bonzes and black, white and grey monks, who all imagined that, 
to make their court to the Supreme Being, they must either sing, 
scourge themselves, or walk quite naked. ' What good have you 
done to men ? ' was the query. A dead silence succeeded to this 
question. No one dared to answer; and they were all con- 
ducted to the mad-house of the universe, the largest buildings 

' ' One cried out that he believed in the metamorphosis of Xaca, 
another in those of Somonocodom. ' Bacchus stopped the sun 
and moon!' said this one — ' The gods resuscitated Pelops! ' said 
the other — ' Here is the bull in coena Domini!'' said a new-comer 
— and the officer of the court exclaimed, ' To Bedlam, to Bedlam! ' 

' l When all these causes were gone through, I heard this procla- 
mation: ' By the Eternal Creator, Preserver, Rewarder, Revenger, 
Forgiver, etc., be it known to all the inhabitants of the hundred 
thousand million of millions of worlds that it hath pleased us to 
form, that we never judge any sinners in reference to their own 
shallow ideas, but only as to their actions. Such is our Justice.' 

" I own that this was the first time I ever heard such an edict; 
all those which I had read, on the little grain of dust on which I 
was born, ended with these words: 'Such is our pleasure.' " 



Jean Jacques Rousseau was born at Geneva, June 28, 1712. His mother 
died at his birth, and his father, a watchmaker, seems to have contributed 
little of value to Rousseau's early training. At the age of sixteen we find 
him wandering aimlessly in Savoy, exposed to the most demoralizing in- 
fluences. In 1745 he is in Paris, after thirty -three years of unproductive 
existence. By copying music he obtained here a meagre subsistence, which 
he chose to share with a maid-servant, Therese Lavasseur, with whom he 
lived during theremainder of his life. 

It was at this period that a distinct change came into Rousseau's life; so 
marked a change, indeed, that from this time forth, instead of a social waif, 
Rousseau became one of the ablest and most prolific of French writers. 
The impetus to this change was furnished by the Academy of Dijon, which 
offered a prize for the best disquisition upon the tendencies of civilization. 
Rousseau became a competitor for the prize, and won it. The social phil- 
osophy evolved in this effort, however new it may have been to Rousseau at 
the time, became the keynote of his future philosophy. He took his stand 
against the cultural tendencies of the time, advocating a return to a more 
natural system. In this way his philosophy became a valuable corrective to 
the artificial tendencies prevailing in French life since the time of Louis 
XIV. ; and in the same manner his emphasis upon sentiment as opposed to 
reason had no doubt some value as a counterpoise to the ultra-rationalism 
of the philosophers. In any event it might be claimed for Rousseau that 
more than any other writer of modern times he has influenced the social life 
of his century. 

Rousseau's literary success brought him in contact with fashionable and 
literary society in Paris. He became a social lion, although never a tract- 
able one. His early life was individualistic, and the whole tendency of his 
mental activity was toward introspection. It is interesting in this connec- 
tion to compare him with Voltaire. Many of those, indeed, who have dealt 
with Rousseau, have preferred this comparative method. The two men 
present a most complete contrast; and although each was thoroughly con- 
scious of the other's ability, there was no bond of sympathy between them, 
either in their lives or in their works. Voltaire lived his life in comparative 
luxury; Rousseau was a creature of poverty, but it was a well-ordered 
poverty, because his fundamental principle of life was, that extensive grati- 
fications are not necessary to a happy life. Rousseau's later years were 
clouded with mental disorder. He died July 2, 1778. 

A certain amount of contempt has been thrown upon Rousseau's char- 
acter by the publication of his Confessions. This is the inevitable result of 
a too ingenuous self-analysis. It is not impossible, although no standard 
exists for such measurement, that Rousseau possessed more than his share 
of great and petty vices. His whole career gives the impression of the union 
of great force and weakness; but his political and social philosophy, how- 
ever little it may have influenced his own life, is nevertheless of great im- 


portance, on account of the effect it has produced upon others; which 
of itself shows that he was most closely in sympathy with the under- 
currents of his time. 

Rousseau's chief works are La Nouvelle Heiolse (1760), the Contrat Social 
(1762) and Emile {de V Education, 1762). The Confessions were published 
at Geneva in 1782. The best biography of Rousseau in French is that of 
Saint Marc Girardin (1874), and a good English work, although inferior to 
his " Voltaire," is by John Morley (2 v. Macmillan, 1891). The best edition of 
Rousseau's works is that of Musset-Pathay (Paris, 1823). For a bibliography 
of Rousseau see Bulletin of Boston Public Library, April, 1891; cf. Brunetiere, 
F.: Manual of the Hist, of French Literature (Crowell, 1898) Cap. 3. 


Since no man has any natural authority over his fellowmen, and 
since force is not the source of right, conventions remain as the 
basis of all lawful authority among men. 2 

Now, as men cannot create any new forces, but only combine 
and direct those that exist, they have no other means of self- 
preservation than to form by aggregation a sum of forces which 
may overcome the resistance, 3 to put them in action by a single 
motive power, and to make them work in concert. 

This sum of forces can be produced only by the combination of 
many; but the strength and freedom of each man being the chief 
instruments of his preservation, how can he pledge them without 
injuring himself, and without neglecting the cares which he owes 
to himself? This difficulty, applied to my subject, may be ex- 
pressed in these terms. 

' ' To find a form of association which may defend and protect 
with the whole force of the community the person and property 
of every associate, and by means of which each, coalescing with 
all, may nevertheless obey only himself, and remain as free as 
before." Such is the fundamental problem of which the social 
contract furnishes the solution. 

If then we set aside what is not of the essence of the social con- 

! The Social Contract. Tr. by H. J. Tozer, M. A. London. Swan, Son- 
nenschein & Co., 1895. 

2 Book I, Chapter IV. Slavery. 

3 Resistance to natural obstacles. Rousseau here supposes that man has 
already progressed to a point where he is no longer able individually to 
overcome these obstacles. 


tract, we shall find that it is reducible to the following terms : 
"Each of us puts in common his person and his whole power 
under the supreme direction of the general will, and in return we 
receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole." 1 

But the body politic or sovereign, deriving its existence only 
from the contract, can never bind itself, even to others, in any- 
thing that derogates from the original act, such as alienation of 
some portion of itself, or submission to another sovereign. To 
violate the act by which it exists would be to annihilate itself, and 
what is nothing produces nothing. 2 

It follows from what precedes, that the general will is always 
right and always tends to the public advantage; but it does not 
follow that the resolutions of the people have always the same 
rectitude. Men always desire their own good, but do not always 
discern it; the people are never corrupted, though often deceived, 
and it is only then that they seem to will what is evil. 3 

The public force, then, requires a suitable agent to concentrate 
it and put it in action according to the directions of the general 
will, to serve as a means of communication between the state and 
the sovereign, to effect in some manner in the public person what 
the union of soul and body effects in a man. This is, in the State, 
the function of government, improperly confounded with the sov- 
ereign of which it is only the minister. 

What, then, is the government? An intermediate body estab- 
lished between the subjects and the sovereign for their mutual 
correspondence, charged with the execution of the laws and with 
the maintenance of liberty both civil and political. 4 

It is not sufficient that the assembled people should have once 
fixed the constitution of the state b3^ giving their sanction to a 
body of laws; it is not sufficient that they should have established 
a perpetual government, or that they should have once for all pro- 
vided for the election of magistrates. Besides the extraordinary 
assemblies which unforeseen events may require, it is necessary 
that there should be fixed and periodical ones which nothing can 
abolish or prorogue; so that, on the appointed day, the people are 

1 Book I., Chapter VI. The Social Pact. 

2 Book I., Chapter VII. The Sovereign. 

3 Book II., Chapter III. Whether the General Will can err. 
*Book III., Chapter I. Government in General. 


rightfully convoked by the law, without needing for that purpose 
any formal summons. 1 

So soon as the people are lawfully assembled as a sovereign 
body, the whole jurisdiction of the government ceases, the execu- 
tive power is suspended, and the person of the meanest citizen is 
as sacred and inviolable as that of the first magistrate, because 
where the represented are, there is no longer any representative. 2 

These assemblies, which have as their object the maintenance 
of the social treaty, ought always to be opened with two proposi- 
tions, which no one should be able to suppress, and which should 
pass separately by vote. The first: " Whether it pleases the sov- 
ereign to maintain the present form of government. ' ' The second: 
' ' Whether it pleases the people to leave the administration to those 
at present entrusted with it." 

1 presuppose here what I believe I have proved, viz., that there 
is in the State no fundamental law which cannot be revoked, not 
even this social compact; for if all the citizens assembled in order 
to break the compact by a solemn agreement, no one can doubt 
that it could be quite legitimately broken. 3 


The man and the citizen, whichever he may be, has no other 
property to give to society except himself, all his other property 
being there without his will; and when a man is rich, either he 
does not enjoy his wealth, or the public enjoys it also. In the 
first case he steals from others that of which he deprives himself; 
and in the second case, he gives them nothing. Thus the whole 
indebtedness to society remains with him, so long as he pays onry 
with his property. "But," you may say, "my father, in gaining 
this property, served society." Very well, then; he has paid his 
own debt, but not j^ours. You owe more to others than if you 
had been born without property; because you were favored at 
birth. It is not just that what one man has done for society 
should discharge the obligation of another; because each, 

J Book III., Chapter XIII. How the Sovereign Authority is maintained. 

2 Book III., Chapter XIV. How the Sovereign Authority is maintained, 

3 Book III., Chapter XVIII., means of preventing usurpations of the gov- 

* CEuvres completes de J. J. Rousseau. Ed. Musset-Pathay. Paris, 1823. 

ROUSSEAU* • 1 7 

owing his entire self, can pay only for himself, and no father can 
transmit to his son the right of being useless to his kind; yet it 
is just that which he does, according to you, when he transmits 
to him his wealth, which is the evidence and the reward of labor. 
He who eats in idleness that which he himself has not earned, 
steals it; and a capitalist whom the state pays for doing nothing 
differs little in my eyes from a brigand, who lives at the expense 
of passers-by. Outside of society, an isolated man, owing noth- 
ing to any one, has a right to live as it pleases him: but in 
society, where he necessarily lives at the expense of others, he 
owes them in labor the price of his maintenance; there is no 
exception to this rule. To work is then an indispensable duty to 
the social man. Rich or poor, powerful or weak, every idle 
citizen is a rogue. 

Now of all occupations which can furnish subsistence to man, 
that which most nearly approaches to the state of nature is 
manual labor; of all conditions the most independent of chance 
and of men is that of the artisan. The artisan depends only upon 
his labor; he is as free as the husbandman is enslaved; for the 
latter is dependent upon his field, whose crop is at the discretion 
of others. The enemy, the prince, a powerful neighbor, a suit at 
law may take from him his field; through this field they may 
harass him in a thousand ways. But wherever they wish to harass 
the artisan, his luggage is soon packed ; he goes, taking his 
strong arms with him. Nevertheless agriculture is the first of 
human employments; it is the most honest, the most useful, and 
consequently the noblest that he can practice. I do not say to 
Emile: " L,earn agriculture; " he knows it. All forms of rustic labor 
are familiar to him; he began with them, and to them he is ever 
returning. I say to him then: "Cultivate the heritage of your 
fathers. But if you lose this heritage, or if you have none, what 
will you do? Learn a trade." 

' ' A trade for my son ! My son an artisan ! My dear sir, are you 
serious ? ' ' More serious than you, madam, who would make it 
impossible for him to be other than a lord, a marquis, a prince, 
and perhaps some day less than nothing; as for me, I wish to 
give him a position that he cannot lose, a position that will 
honor him at all times. I wish to elevate him to man's estate, 
and whatever you may say, he will have fewer equals with this 
title than with all those which he may derive from you. 


The letter kills and the spirit makes alive. It is a matter of 
learning a trade less for the purpose of knowing a trade than to 
overcome the prejudices which tend to treat it with contempt. 
You think that you will never be reduced to work for a living. 
Ah! so much the worse — so much the worse for you! But never 
mind, do not work from necessity, work for glory. L,ower your- 
self to the splendor of the artisan in order to be above your own. 
In order to put fortune and things under your control, begin by 
making yourself independent of them. In order to rule by 
opinion, commence by ruling over it. 

Remember that it is by no means an accomplishment that I 
ask of you; it is a trade, a true trade, a purely mechanical art, 
where the hands work more than the head, which does not lead 
to fortune, but with which one can be independent of it. In 
families far above the danger of wanting bread, I have seen 
fathers push foresight to the point of joining to the labor of in- 
structing their children that of providing them with a knowledge 
with which, in any event, they might gain their living. These 
provident fathers believe they are accomplishing much; but they 
are doing nothing, because the resources which they believe they 
are providing for their children depend upon the very fortune 
which they desire to make themselves independent of. So that 
with all these fine accomplishments, unless he who possesses 
them finds himself in circumstances favorable for their employ- 
ment, he will perish as if he had none of them. 

Since it is a question of management and intrigue, it is as neces- 
sary to employ these means to maintain yourself in abundance as 
to regain, from the depths of misery, the means of re-ascending to 
your former estate. If you cultivate the arts whose success de- 
pends upon the reputation of the artist, if you turn your attention 
to those employments which are obtained only by favor, of what 
use will it all be to you, when, rightly disgusted with the world, 
you disdain the means without which you cannot hope to suc- 
ceed ? You have studied diplomacy and the interests of princes ? 
Good ; but what will you do with this knowledge, unless you 
know how to conciliate the ministers, the ladies of the court, the 
heads of the bureaus; unless you possess the secret of pleasing 
them; unless all find in you the rascal that suits their purposes? 
You are an architect or painter ? Good ; but it is necessary that 
you should make your talent known. Do you expect to go 


straightway and exhibit your work at the salon ? Alas ! that 
doesn't happen so easily! It is necessary to be in the Academy; 
it is necessary to be a favorite in order to obtain even a dark cor- 
ner of the wall. Give up your model and your brush, take a cab 
and go from door to door; it is in this way that you will acquire 
celebrity. But you ought to know that all these illustrious doors 
have Swiss or porters who understand only by motions, and whose 
ears are in their hands. Do you wish to impart what you have 
learned, and become a teacher of geography, or mathematics, or 
languages, or music, or drawing ? For that it is necessary to find 
pupils, and consequently somebody to recommend you. Remem- 
ber, it contributes more toward success to be plausible than to be 
able, and that, if you know no trade but your own, you will never 
be anything but a dunce. 

See then how little solidity all these brilliant resources possess, 
and how many other resources are necessary in order to derive 
any advantage from them. And then, what will become of you 
in this cowardly abasement? Reverses, instead of instructing 
you, debase you. More than ever the creature of public opinion, 
how will you elevate yourself above those prejudices, arbiters of 
your lot ? How will you despise baseness and the vices of which 
you have need for your subsistence ? You were dependent only 
on wealth, and now you are dependent on wealth; you have only 
deepened your slavery and surcharged it with your poverty. You 
are poor without becoming free; it is the worst state into which a 
man can fall. 

But instead of resorting for a livelihood to those high knowledges 
which are made for nourishing the soul and not the body, if you 
resort, in time of need, to your hands and the use which you 
know how to make of them, all difficulties vanish, all artifices 
become useless. Your resources are always ready at the moment 
their use is required; probity and honor are no longer an obstacle 
to living; you have no need to be a coward and a liar before the 
great, to bend and cringe before rascals, a vile pander to all the 
world, a borrower or a thief, which are almost the same thing 
when one has nothing. The opinion of others concerns you not; 
you have your court to make to no one, no fool to flatter, no Swiss 
to knuckle to, no courtier to fee, or what is worse, to worship. 
That rogues manage the affairs of the great is of no consequence 
to you. That does not prevent you in your obscure life from 


being an honest man and having bread. Yon enter the first shop 
whose trade you have learned: " Master, I need work." "Jour- 
neyman, go there and get to work." Before the dinner hour 
arrives you have earned your dinner. If you are diligent and 
sober, before eight hours have passed you will have wherewith 
to live eight hours more. You will have lived free, sound, true 7 
industrious and just. To gain it thus is not to lose one's time. 


Denis Diderot was born at Langres in 1713. He was educated in a Jesuit 
school, but displayed at an early age a fondness for general literary work, 
thereby alienating the sympathy and support of his father, who desired that 
he should take up law or medicine. Diderot was drawn to Paris as the 
centre of French intellectual life, and his existence there, throughout the 
Whole of his career, was that of a literary hack. That which raises his per- 
sonality above the level of the commonplace is his connection with the En- 
cyclopaedia and his heroic persistence in this enterprise, in the face of all 
discouragement. It is as the organizer and director of the greatest literary 
work of the century, rather than as a writer, that Diderot justifies his claim 
to distinction. Yet there is no doubt that Diderot made large contributions 
to the philosophy of his time which were incorporated in the literary pro- 
ductions of his contemporaries. He was a fluent talker, and we have the 
testimony of his friends and associates that it was he who furnished the 
themes for discussion, when the philosophic group assembled about the 
tables of Helvetius and Holbach. The monotony of Diderot's life was 
broken with a journey to Russia in 1713, whither he went upon the invita- 
tion of the Empress Catherine. He died in July, 1784. 

Few of Diderot's works deserve especial mention. The greater part of 
his activity was centred upon the Encyclopaedia, where his articles, so 
laboriously prepared, have rather a didactic than a literary value. His 
Lettre sur les Ayeugles (London, 1749), is of interest as dimly shadowing 
forth the theory of the survival of the fittest. Like most men of letters of 
his time, his work extends into all fields of literature. A dramatic piece, 
Le neveu de Rameau, was thought worthy of translation by Goethe. The 
best biographical treatment is by John Morley: " Diderot and the Encyclo- 
paedists " (2 vols., Macmillan, 1891). The most complete edition of 
Diderot's works is that of Assezat and Tourneur (20 vols., Paris, 1875-77). 


There is nothing which costs less to acquire nowadays than 
.ythe name of Philosopher ; an obscure and retired life, some out- 

* From the Encyclopedia. 


ward signs of wisdom, with a little reading, suffice to attach this 
name to persons who enjoy the honor without meriting it. 

Others in whom freedom of thought takes the place of reason- 
ing, regard themselves as the only true philosophers, because 
they have dared to overturn the consecrated limits placed by 
religion, and have broken the fetters which faith laid upon their 
reason. Proud of having gotten rid of the prejudices of educa- 
tion, in the matter of religion, they look upon others with scorn 
as feeble souls, servile and pusillanimous spirits, who allow them- 
selves to be frightened by the consequences to which irreligion 
leads, and who, not daring to emerge for an instant from the 
circle of established verities, nor to proceed along unaccustomed 
paths, sink to sleep under the yoke of superstition. But one 
ought to have a more adequate idea of the philosopher, and here 
is the character which we give him : 

Other men make up their minds to act without thinking, nor 
are they conscious of the causes which move them, not even 
knowing that such exist. The philosopher, on the contrary, 
distinguishes the causes to what extent he may, and often antici- 
pates them, and knowingly surrenders himself to them. In this 
manner he avoids objects that may cause him sensations that are 
not conducive to his well being or his rational existence, and 
seeks those which may excite in him affections agreeable with the 
state in which he finds himself. Reason is in the estimation of 
the philosopher what grace is to the Christian. Grace determines 
the Christian's action; reason the philosopher's. 

Other men are carried away by their passions, so that the acts 
which they produce do not proceed from reflection. These are 
the men who move in darkness; while the philosopher, even in 
his passions, moves only after reflection. He marches at night, 
but a torch goes on ahead. 

The philosopher forms his principles upon an infinity of indi- 
vidual observations. The people adopt the principle without a 
thought of the observations which have produced it, believing 
that the maxim exists, so to speak, of itself; but the philosopher 
takes the maxim at its source, he examines its origin, he knows 
its real value, and only makes use of it, if it seems to him satis- 

Truth is not for the philosopher a mistress who vitiates his 
imagination, and whom he believes to find everywhere. He con- 


tents himself with being able to discover it wherever he may 
chance to find it. He does not confound it with its semblance; 
but takes for true that which is true, for false that which is false, 
for doubtful that which is doubtful, and for probable that which 
is only probable. He does more — and this is the great perfection 
of philosophy; that when he has no real grounds for passing 
judgment, he knows how to remain undetermined. 

The world is full of persons of understanding, even of much 
understanding, who always pass judgment. They are guessing 
always, because it is guessing to pass judgment without knowing 
when one has proper grounds for judgment. They misjudge of 
the capacity of the human mind; they believe it is possible to 
know everything, and so they are ashamed not to be prepared to 
pass judgment, and they imagine that understanding consists in 
passing judgment. The philosopher believes that it consists in 
judging well: he is better pleased with himself when he has sus- 
pended the faculty of determining, than if he had determined be- 
fore having acquired proper grounds for his decision. 


The philosophic spirit is then a spirit of observation and of 
exactness, which refers everything to its true principles; but it is 
not the understanding alone which the philosopher cultivates; he 
carries further his attention and his labors. 

Man is not a monster, made to live only at the bottom of the 
sea or in the depths of the forest; the very necessities of his life 
render intercourse with others necessary; and in whatsoever state 
we find him, his needs and his well-being lead him to live in 
society. To that reason demands of him that he should know, 
that he should study and that he should labor to acquire social 

Our philosopher does not believe himself an exile in the world; 

he does not believe himself in the enemy's country; he wishes to 

enjoy, like a wise economist, the goods that nature offers him; 

he wishes to find his pleasure with others; and in order to find it, 

it is necessary to assist in producing it; so he seeks to harmonize 

with those with whom chance or his choice has determined he 

shall live; and he finds at the same time that which suits him: 

he is an honest man who wishes to please and render himself 



d'alembert. 23 

The philosopher is then an honest man, actuated in everything 
by reason, one who joins to the spirit of reflection and of accuracy 
the manners and qualities of society. 

With this idea in mind, it is easy to see what gulf divides the 
wise insensibility of the stoics from the ideal of our philosopher. 
Such a philosopher is a man, and their sage is no more than a 
phantom. They blush before humanity, and glor}' in the fact; they 
foolishly wish to annihilate the passions and to elevate us above 
our nature by a chimerical insensibility. As for our philosopher, 
he pretends to no empty honor in the destruction of his passions, 
because that is impossible; but he seeks to escape their tyranny, 
to turn them to his profit, to make a reasonable use of them, be- 
cause that is possible, and reason so ordains. 

The philosophic spirit is a gift of nature, perfected by effort, art 
and usage, forjudging sanely of all things. When one possesses 
in an exceptional degree this spirit, it produces a marvelous in- 
telligence, a force of reasoning, an accurate and reflective taste in 
that which there is of good and bad in the world; it is the criter- 
ion of the true and beautiful. There is nothing estimable in the 
various works that issue from the hands of man that is not ani- 
mated with this spirit. On it depends, in an especial measure, the 
glory of literature; but since it is the portion of very few among 
the learned, and it is neither possible nor necessary for the success 
of letters that a talent so rare should be found in all those who 
cultivate this art, it is sufficient for a nation that certain great 
spirits shall possess it to an eminent degree, and that the superi- 
ority of their judgment shall render them arbiters of taste, oracles 
of criticism, dispensers of literary glory. 


Jean le Rond d'Alembert was born in Paris in 17 17. He was a foundling, 
but it afterwards became known that he was the illegitimate son of persons 
of some social standing. The child was entrusted to the care of a glazier's 
wife, who brought him up with great kindness. The name of Jean le Rond 
was taken from the church near which he was found, and "d'Alembert" 
was added later by himself. His father settled upon him an annuity of 
1,200 francs, which afforded him the advantages of a good education and 
placed him beyond the necessities of intellectual drudgery. 

Although d'Alembert made some efforts in the direction of both law and 
medicine, his natural tastes were so strongly inclined toward mathematics 


that this science became the distinguishing work of his career. In 1741 he 
was made a member of the Academy of Sciences, as a result of his paper on 
Integral Calculus. D'Alembert's association with Diderot widened the 
sphere of his labors. His Discours preliminaire ; or introduction to the 
Encyclopaedia, a review of scientific progress to his time, was read before the 
Academy of Sciences. This and other scientific productions extended 
d'Alembert's fame, so that he received tempting offers from Frederick the 
Great and from Catharine of Russia to make his residence abroad. He pre- 
ferred, however, to remain in Paris, and for forty years lived quietly at the 
house of his foster-mother. He died October 29, 1783. 

The best edition of d'Alembert's works is that of Didot (5 vols., Paris, 
1821). For d'Alembert's life see J. Bertrand: Les grands ecrivains frangaises 
(P. 1889). 


This is the name of a religious order, founded in the sixteenth 
century, devoted exclusively to the care of the sick poor. These 
religious, and in general all orders which have a similar aim, are 
without question the most respectable of all, the most worthy of 
being protected by the government, and of enjoying public con- 
sideration, since they are valuable to society on account of their 
services, and at the same time valuable to religion by their ex- 
ample. Would it be going too far to contend that this occupa- 
tion is the only one suitable for religious orders ? In fact, to what 
other labor can they apply themselves ? To perform the functions 
of the evangelical ministry ? But the secular priests, destined by 
their very estate to this ministry, are already only too numerous, 
and for the best of reasons ought to be better adapted for this 
function than the monks. They are in a better position to know 
the vices and the needs of men; they have fewer masters, less of 
corporate prejudice, less communal interests and party spirit. 
Will you apply the religious to the instruction of youth ? But 
these same corporate prejudices, these same communal and party 
interests, must they not cause us to fear that the education which 
they give would be dangerous, or at least puerile; that sometimes 
they would serve the religious as a means of controlling, or as an 
instrument for their ambition; in which case they would be more 
harmful than necessary? Shall the monks occupy themselves in 
writing ? But in what class of writing ? History ? The soul of 
history is truth; and men, so burdened with restraints, must be 

*L-'Esprit de l'Encyclop£die, Paris, 1798. Vol. V., pp. 15-16. 


almost always ill at ease in telling it; often reduced to silence, and 
sometimes forced to disguise the truth. Shall they devote them- 
selves to eloquence and Latin poetry ? Latin is a dead language, 
which no modern is in a condition to write, and we have enough 
of this class of literature, of Cicero, of Virgil, of Homer, of Taci- 
tus and of others. To matters of taste ? These matters, in order 
to be treated successfully, demand intercourse with the world, an 
intercourse forbidden to monks. To philosophy? That demands 
liberty, and the religious have none of it. To the pure sciences, 
such as geometry, physics, etc.? They demand a singleness of 
mind, and consequently can be cultivated but feebly by persons 
vowed to religious exercises. Therefore the men of first rank in 
this class, the Boyles, the Descartes, the Vietes, the Newtons, etc., 
have not come out of cloisters. There remain the matters of re- 
search; these are such as the sedentary life of the religious adapts 
them for; they demand less application, and suffer distractions 
more easily. These occupations are the ones in which the relig- 
ious may meet with greater success, where, in fact, they have 
been more successful; although greatly inferior, for the purposes 
of the religious, to the relief of suffering and to manual labor, they 
are at least more useful than the life of those recluses who are ab- 
solutely lost to society. It is true that these latter religious 
appear to be following the great precept of the Scriptures, which 
commands us to abandon, for God, our father, our mother, our 
family, our friends and our possessions. But if it be necessary to 
take these words literally, whether as precept or as counsel, each 
man would be obliged, or at least would do w r ell to conform to 
them; and in that case what would become of the human race? 
The sense of this passage is merely that we ought to love and 
honor the Supreme Being above all other things; and the most 
substantial manner of honoring him is by rendering ourselves as 
useful as possible to the society in which he has placed us. 


Paul Heinrich Dietrich, baron d'Holbach, was born at Heidelsheim in the 
palatinate in 1723. Little is known of his early years. He was possessed 
of extensive means and his fame is largely due to the fact that he kept open 
house for the philosophical coterie. The most famous men of the time 
were to be fouud about his table. He died in 1789. 

His important contribution to rationalistic literature is the Systeme de la 


Nature. It is to be regarded as a summing up of the extreme thought of 
the philosophic circle rather than the personal production of Holbach him- 
self. His independent position permitted him to constitute himself the 
medium of this expression, and risk the adverse verdict of society at large, 
and the persecutions of the priestly and official classes. The Systeme de la 
Nature (1770) has several points of interest: it shows, in the first place, how 
at this time the social pressure, which ordinarily prevents this ever-present 
substratum of thought from rising to the surface, had been partially re- 
moved, and an unusual liberty of expression accorded; it is again of inter- 
est as the armory whence so many men in later times have taken their 
weapons against religion. This work, together with the de V Esprit of 
Helvetius, were on the whole, a serious injury to the more moderate mem- 
bers of the philosophic group. 

For an account of Holbach and Helvetius see Morley's Didetot, op. cit. 
Cf. Lowell: op. tit., Cap. XVII. 


Man's ignorance has endured so long, he has taken such slow, 
irresolute steps to ameliorate his condition, only because he has 
neglected to study nature, to scrutinize her laws, to search out 
her resources, to discover her properties. His sluggishness finds 
its account in permitting himself to be guided by precedent, rather 
than to follow experience which demands activity; to be led by 
routine, rather than by his reason which exacts reflection. Hence 
may be traced the aversion man betrays for everything that swerves 
from these rules to which he has been accustomed; hence his stupid, 
his scrupulous respect for antiquity, for the most silly, the most 
absurd institutions of his fathers; hence those fears that seize him, 
when the most advantageous changes are proposed to him, or the 
most probable attempts are made to better his condition. He 
dreads to examine, because he has been taught to hold it a pro- 
fanation of something immediately connected with his welfare; 
he credulously believes the interested advice, and spurns at those 
who wish to show him the danger of the road he is traveling. 

This is the reason why nations linger on in the most scandalous 
lethargy, groaning under abuses transmitted from century to cen- 
tury, trembling at the very idea of that which alone can remedy 
their misfortunes. 

* The System of Nature, or Laws of the Moral and Physical World, by Baron 
d'Holbach. Tr. by H. D. Robinson, N. Y., 1836. 

HOI3ACH. 27 

The more man reflects, the more he will be convinced that the 
soul, very far from being distinguished from the body, is only the 
body itself considered relatively to some of its functions, or to 
some of the modes of existing or acting of which it is susceptible 
whilst it enjoys life. Thus, the soul in man is considered rela- 
tively to the faculty he has of feeling, of thinking, and of acting 
in a mode resulting from his peculiar nature; that is to say, from 
his properties, from his particular organization, from the modifi- 
cations, whether durable or transitory, which the beings who act 
upon him cause his machine to undergo. 

An organized being may be compared to a clock, which, once 
broken, is no longer suitable to the use for which it was designed. 
To say that the soul shall feel, shall think, shall enjoy, shall 
suffer after the death of the body, is to pretend that a clock, 
shivered into a thousand pieces, will continue to strike the hour 
and have the faculty of marking the progress of time. Those 
who say that the soul of man is able to subsist notwithstanding 
the destruction of the body, evidently support the position that 
the modification of a body will be enabled to conserve itself after 
the subject is destroyed; but this is completely absurd. 


Thus virtue is everything that is truly and constantly useful to 
the individuals of the human race living together in society; 
vice, everything that is injurious to them. The greatest virtues 
are those that procure for man the most durable and solid ad- 
vantages; the greatest vices are those that most disturb his 
tendency to happiness, and which most interrupt the necessary 
order of society. The virtuous man is he whose actions tend 
uniformly to the welfare of his fellow creatures. The vicious 
man is he whose conduct tends to the misery of those with whom 
he lives; from whence his own peculiar misery most commonly 
results. Everything that procures for man a true and permanent 
happiness, is reasonable; everything that disturbs his individual 
felicity, or that of the beings necessary to his happiness, is foolish 
or unreasonable. The man who injures others is wicked — the 
man who injures himself is an imprudent being, who neither has 
a knowledge of reason, of his own peculiar interests, nor of truth. 



Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Marquis de PAulne, was born in Paris, May 
io, 1727. His family was distinguished in municipal life, his father having 
held the office of prevdt des marchands. He was educated for the priesthood, 
but in 1751 determined from motives of conscience to enter another profes- 
sion. Having taken up the study of law, he was appointed in 1752 to a 
position in the office of the procureur general. 1753, he became a waz7« 
des requites. His associations were at this time largely with the radicals of 
the philosophic group and with the economists, Quesnay and Gournay. In 
1761 he was made intendant of the ghieralite of Limoges. His administra- 
tion of this territory was marked with success, and secured his promotion 
to the king's ministry on the succession of Louis XVI. After a brief term 
as minister of marine, he was made finance minister July 19, 1774. Here he 
undertook that series of reforms which constitute the chief interest of the 
reign of Louis XVI. It was his misfortune that he was forced to rely upon 
a king who was no hero; that he had to encounter the opposition of the 
queen and her party; and that he felt it necessary to convulse society with 
the almost simultaneous application of a series of reforms that drew down 
upon him the combined resistance of all vested rights. Turgot received his 
dismissal May 12, 1776. The remainder of his life was devoted to his favor- 
ite studies. He died in Paris, March 18, 1781. 

Turgot's works were almost wholly upon subjects connected with admin- 
istration. He was a contributor to the Encyclopaedia. His most important 
work, on which his reputation as an economist chiefly rests, is the Reflexions 
sur la Formation et la Distribution des Richesses (1766, trans. Lond., 1793). 
A complete edition of his works is that of Dupont (9 vols., P. 1801-11). 
For life, etc., see W. W. Stephens: The Life and Writings of Turgot, Lon- 
don, 1895. Cf. Morley, Critical Miscellanies, 2d Series, 1877. 


Sire, — In order to judge whether it be expedient to establish 
municipalities in France in the cantons where they do not exist, 
and whether we should improve or should modify those that 
already exist, and how we should constitute those which we may 
believe to be necessary, there is no need for us to go back to the 
origin of municipal administrations, to make an historical relation 
of the vicissitudes which they have undergone, nor even to enter 
with much detail on the different forms they assume to-day. We 
have been too much in the habit, when dealing with seriously 

* W. W. Stephens: The Life and Writings of Turgot. London, 1895, pp. 


urgent questions, of deciding what is to be done by the examina- 
tion into, and by the example of, what our ancestors have done 
in times which we ourselves confess to have been times of ignor- 
ance and barbarism. This method is only fit to lead justice 
astray — through the multiplicity of facts presented to us as au- 
thorities. It tends to disgust rulers with their most important 
functions when they are told that in order to acquit themselves 
with effect and with honor it is necessary to be prodigiously 
learned. All that is necessary is to thoroughly understand and 
to correctly weigh the rights and the interests of men. These 
rights and these interests are not very numerous, so that the 
science which embraces them, being founded on the principles 
of justice which every one of us carries in his heart, has a great 
degree of certitude without having any great complexity. It 
does not exact a very deep study, and is not beyond the powers 
of any straightforward man. 

The rights of men gathered in society are not founded on their 
history as men, but in their nature. There can be no reason to 
perpetuate establishments which were made without reason. The 
Kings, your Majesty's predecessors, pronounced, in the circum- 
stances in which they found themselves, laws which they judged 
to be expedient. They were sometimes wrong. They were 
often led by the ignorance of their age, and still oftener their 
views were obstructed by the very powerful self-interests of 
parties whom they were not strong enough to conquer, and with 
whom they judged it wiser to compromise. There is nothing in 
that to subject you to retain the ordinances your ancestors made 
or the institutions they supported, when you come to recognize 
that a change is now just, useful and possible. None of your 
courts, the most accustomed to make complaints, w T ould venture 
to contest your Majesty's right, in order to reform abuses, to a 
legislative power as extensive as that of the princes who created 
or permitted the abuses we now deplore. The greatest of all 
powers is a pure and enlightened mind in those to whom Provi- 
dence has entrusted authority, shown in their governing for the 
good of all. So long as your majesty does not stray beyond the 
lines of justice, you may regard yourself as an absolute legislator, 
and may depend on your well- affected subjects for the execution 
of your decrees. 

Your nation is large, it is necessary to have some confidence in 


the means of well governing it, and for this end it is necessary to 
know its situation, its needs, its possibilities, and these even in 
some detail. This will be much more useful than the history of 
past positions. But it is a knowledge to which your majesty can- 
not hope to arrive in the present state of things, a knowledge 
which your ministers cannot furnish, or the intendants them- 
selves, and which the sub-delegates appointed by the intendants 
can gather only very imperfectly, owing to the limited duties con- 
fided to their care. Hence arise in the assessment and division 
of the taxes, in the means of levying them and in the administra- 
tion connected with them, an infinity of errors which excite as 
many murmurs, and which, bearing most upon the lower classes 
of people, contribute so effectively to keep their condition un- 
happy. * * * 

The cause of this evil, Sire, lies in the fact that your nation has 
no constitution. It is a society composed of different orders ill- 
united, and of a people, the members of which have between 
them very few social ties, where consequently each is concerned 
almost exclusively with his own private interest, since there is no 
opportunity for any one to fulfil his social duties, or even to know 
what his relations are to his fellow- citizens; so that in this con- 
tinual war of individual pretensions and violations, reason and 
enlightenment bearing upon the circumstances have no regulating 
effect. Your Majesty is obliged to decide everything by yourself 
or by your mandatories. The issue of your special^ orders is 
waited for before the public good can be served, before the rights 
of others can be respected, sometimes even before one's own rights 
can be exercised; you are compelled to decree upon everything 
(and very often through private importunities), while you would 
govern as God does, by general laws, if the integrant parts of 
your empire had a regular organization and had recognized con- 

Your kingdom is composed of provinces; these provinces of 
cantons or of arrondisse?nents, which are named, according to the 
provinces, bailliages, elections, senechaussees, or some such other 
name. These arrondissements are formed of a certain number of 
villages and towns. These towns and villages are inhabited by 
families. These families are composed of individuals who have 
many duties to fulfil towards each other and towards society, 
duties founded on the benefits which they have received in the 


past from these others, and which they every day continue to re- 
ceive. But the individuals are very ill-instructed upon the duties 
in the family, and they are not instructed at all upon the duties 
that bind them to the State. The families themselves scarcely 
know that they belong to the State of which they form a part; 
they are ignorant by what title. They regard the exercise of 
authority in requiring contributions to serve to maintain public 
order as merely the law of the stronger party, to which there is 
no other reason to yield than the powerlessness to resist it, and 
which one ought to elude whenever the means can be found. 
Hence, every one seeks to deceive you and to escape his social 
obligations. His income is concealed, and can be discovered very 
imperfectly by a sort of inquisition, in which, we might say, your 
Majesty is at war with your own people, and in this kind of war 
no one has any interest in taking part with the government; the 
man doing so would be regarded with an evil eye. There is no 
public spirit, because there is no point of common interest visible 
and recognized. The villages and the towns, the members of 
which are thus disunited, have no connection between themselves 
in the arrondissements to which they are attributed. They can- 
not come to an arrangement for any of the public works which 
are necessary. The different districts are in the same case, and 
the provinces themselves find themselves in the same position 
towards the kingdom. 

In order to dissipate the spirit of disunion (by which the work 
of j'our administrators and of your majesty is ten times multi- 
plied, and which necessarily and increasingly diminishes your 
power), in order to substitute for it a spirit of order and of union, 
by which the strength and the resources of your nation may con- 
cur towards the common good, we must devise a plan which 
shall link, one to the other, all the parts of the kingdom by an 
education w T hich we must see to be nowhere neglected by a com- 
mon interest made clearly evident. The individuals must be 
attached to their families; the families to the village or town to 
which they belong; the towns and the villages to the arrondisse- 
ment in which they are comprised; the arrondissements to the 
provinces of which they form a part; finally, the provinces to the 



Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes was born at Frejus, May 3, 1748. He was edu- 
cated at a Jesuit school, became a licentiate of the canon law and was 
appointed vicar-general by the bishop of Chartres. He first came into 
prominence with the publication of his pamphlet, entitled "Qu'est ce que le 
thiers Hat ?" In 1789 he was elected delegate to the states-general from Paris, 
and in the preliminary struggle for organization was made spokesman of 
the third estate. The policy indicated in his pamphlet was that which was 
actually carried out in the conservative period of the Revolution. As the 
Revolution progressed Sieyes dropped out of sight, and had the good for- 
tune to escape destruction. When asked, at a later period, what he had 
done during the Terror, he summed up his whole experience in the words: 
"I existed." In 1795 he again came forward, and was appointed member 
of a commission to draft a new constitution. His views did not obtain 
prominence in the constitution of 1795, and he refused to accept a position 
in the directory of the new government. 

Sieyes took part with Napoleon in the coup of Hat of the 18th Brumaire, 
and made one of the provisional consulate with Napoleon and Ducos. 
Later on he was made a count of the Bmpire and given extensive estates as 
a reward for his services to France. This marks Sieyes' final retirement 
from public life. He fled to Brussels on the second return of the Bourbons; 
returned after the revolution of 1830, and died in Paris, June 20, 1836. 


What is necessary that a nation should subsist and prosper ? 
Individual effort and public functions. 

All individual efforts may be included in four classes: 1. Since 
the earth and the waters furnish crude products for the needs of 
man, the first class, in logical sequence, will be that of all 
families which devote themselves to agricultural labor. 2. Be- 
tween the first sale of products and their consumption or use, a 
new manipulation, more or less repeated, adds to these products 
a second value more or less composite. In this manner human 
industry succeeds in perfecting the gifts of nature, and the crude 
product increases two-fold, ten-fold, one hundred-fold in value. 
Such are the efforts of the second class. 3. Between production 
and consumption, as well as between the various stages of pro- 
duction, a group of intermediary agents establish themselves, 
useful both to producers and consumers; these are the merchants 
and brokers: the brokers who, comparing incessantly the de- 

* Qu'est-ce que le Thiers-F^tat ? par Sieyes. Paris, 1839, pp. 33-41. 


mands of time and place, speculate upon the profit of retention 
and transportation; merchants who are charged with distribution, 
in the last analysis, either at wholesale or at retail. This species 
of utility characterizes the third class. 4. Outside of these three 
classes of productive and useful citizens, who are occupied with 
real objects of consumption and use, there is also need in a soci- 
ety of a series of efforts and pains, whose objects are directly 
useful or agreeable to the individual. This fourth class em- 
braces all those who stand between the most distinguished and 
liberal professions and the less esteemed services of domestics. 

Such are the efforts which sustain society. Who puts them 
forth ? The Third Estate. 

Public functions may be classified equally well, in the present 
state of affairs, under four recognized heads; the sword, the robe, 
the church and the administration. It would be superfluous to 
take them up one by one, for the purpose of showing that every- 
where the Third Estate attends to nineteen-twentieths of them, 
with this distinction; that it is laden with all that which is really 
painful, with all the burdens which the privileged classes refuse 
to carry. Do we give the Third Estate credit for this ? That this 
might come about, it would be necessary that the Third Estate 
should refuse to fill these places, or that it should be less ready to 
exercise their functions. The facts are well known. Meanwhile 
they have dared to impose a prohibition upon the order of the 
Third Estate. They have said to it: "Whatever may be your 
services, whatever may be your abilities, you shall go thus far; 
you may not pass beyond! " Certain rare exceptions, properly re- 
garded, are but a mockery, and the terms which are indulged in 
on such occasions, one insult the more. 

If this exclusion is a social crime against the Third Estate; if 
it is a veritable act of hostility, could it perhaps be said that it is 
useful to the public weal ? Alas ! who is ignorant of the effects 
of monopoly? If it discourages those whom it rejects, is it not 
well known that it tends to render less able those whom it favors? 
Is it not understood that every employment from which free com- 
petition is removed, becomes dearer and less effective ? 

In setting aside any function whatsoever to serve as an ap- 
panage for a distinct class among citizens, is it not to be 
observed that it is no longer the man alone who does the work 
that it is necessary to reward, but all the unemployed mem- 


bers of that same caste, and also the entire families of those 
who are employed as well as those who are not? Is it not to be 
remarked that since the government has become the patrimony 
of a particular class, it has been distended beyond all measure; 
places have been created, not on account of the necessities of the 
governed, but in the interests of the governing, etc., etc.? Has 
not attention been called to the fact that this order of things, 
which is basely and — I even presume to say — beastly respectable 
with us, when we find it in reading the History of Ancient Egypt 
or the accounts of Voyages to the Indies,* is despicable, mon- 
strous, destructive of all industry, the enemy of social progress; 
above all degrading to the human race in general, and particu- 
larly intolerable to Europeans, etc., etc.? But I must leave these 
considerations, which, if they increase the importance of the sub- 
ject and throw light upon it, perhaps, along with the new light, 
slacken our progress. 

It suffices here to have made it clear that the pretended utility 
of a privileged order for the public service is nothing more than a 
chimera; that with it all that which is burdensome in this service 
is performed by the Third Estate; that without it the superior 
places would be infinitely better filled; that they naturally ought 
to be the lot and the recompense of ability and recognized ser- 
vices, and that if privileged persons have come to usurp all the 
lucrative and honorable posts, it is a hateful injustice to the rank 
and file of citizens and at the same time a treason to the public 

Who then shall dare to say that the Third Estate has not within 
itself all that is necessary for the formation of a complete nation ? 
It is the strong and robust man who has one arm still shackled. 
If the privileged order should be abolished, the nation would be 
nothing less, but something more. Therefore, what is the Third 
Estate? Everything; but an everything shackled and oppressed. 
What would it be without the privileged order ? Everything, but 
an everything free and flourishing. Nothing can succeed without 
it, everything would be infinitely better without the others. 

It is not sufficient to show that privileged persons, far from 
being useful to the nation, cannot but enfeeble and injure it ; it is 

* Referring to the account of Indian castes in Raynal : Histoire phil. et 
pol. des deux Indes, book I., a work much in vogue at the time. 


necessary to prove further that the noble order does not enter at 
all into the social organization; that it may indeed be a burden 
upon the nation, but that it cannot of itself constitute a nation. 

In the first place, it is not possible in the number of all the ele- 
mentary parts of a nation to find a place for the caste of nobles. 
I know that there are individuals in great number whom infirmi- 
ties, incapacity, incurable laziness, or the weight of bad habits 
render strangers to the labors of society. The exception and the 
abuse are everywhere found beside the rule. But it will be ad- 
mitted that the less there are of these abuses, the better it will be 
for the State. The worst possible arrangement of all would be 
where not alone isolated individuals, but a whole class of citizens 
should take pride in remaining motionless in the midst of the 
general movement, and should consume the best part of the pro- 
duct without bearing any part in its production. Such a class is 
surely estranged to the nation by its indolence. 

The noble order is not less estranged from the generality of us 
by its civil and political prerogatives. 

What is a nation ? A body of associates, living under a com- 
mon law, and represented by the same legislature, etc. 

Is it not evident that the noble order has privileges and ex- 
penditures which it dares to call its rights, but which are apart 
from the rights of the great body of citizens? It departs there 
from the common order, from the common law. So its civil 
rights make of it an isolated people in the midst of the great 
nation. This is truly imperium in imperio. 

In regard to its political rights, these also it exercises apart. 
It has its special representatives, which are not charged with 
securing the interests of the people. The body of its deputies sit 
apart; and when it is assembled in the same hall with the deputies 
of simple citizens, it is none the less true that its representation is 
essentially distinct and separate: it is a stranger to the nation, in 
the first place, by its origin, since its commission is not derived 
from the people; then by its object, which consists of defending 
not the general, but the particular interest. 

The Third Estate embraces then all that which belongs to the 
nation; and all that which is not the Third Estate, cannot be 
regarded as being of the nation. What is the Third Estate? It 
is the whole. 

Translations and Reprints 



Vol. VI. X. Y. Z. LETTERS. No. 2. 



I. Instructions to Envoys ......... 2 

II. Despatch from the Envoys, No. i 4 

1. Paragraphs of the President's Speech . . . .15 

2. Answer of President Barras to the Speech of Mr. Monroe. 16 

III. Extracts from Despatch, No. 2 17 

IV. Extracts from Despatches, Nos. 3 and 4 . . .24 
V. Extracts from Letter of Envoys to Taeeeyrand . . 25 

VI. Envoys' Account of Interview with Taeeeyrand . . 27 
VII. Extracts from Correspondence of Taeeeyrand and the 

Envoys 28 

1. Letter of Talleyrand 28 

2. Correspondence of Talleyrand and Gerry . . .31 

3. Letter of M. Hauteval (Z) to Talleyrand . . . .32 

4. Later Correspondence of Talleyrand to Gerry . . .33 
VIII. Seeect Bibliography 36 

The following documents present a phase of the diplomatic activity of 
the French Directory of especial interest to students of American Histor}*. 
The Adams administration had received as a legacy from the administration 
of Washington the strained relations with France; for the French Directory, 
regarding the ratification of the Jay treaty with England (Feb. 29, 1796) as a 
breach of faith with France on the part of the United States, proceeded to take 
measures of retaliation. The course of Monroe, our minister to France, fail- 
ing to give satisfaction to Washington, he was recalled in 1796. Pinckney, 
who had been appointed as Monroe's successor, presented his credentials to 
the Directory in December, 1796, but was not only refused recognition, but 
in January was ordered to leave France, and accordingly retired to Am- 
sterdam. The report of this treatment aroused great indignation in the 
United States; but President Adams, hoping that reconciliation could be 
secured by such a revision of the treaties as would give France equal ad- 
vantages with England, decided to send special commissioners to France. 
In May, 1797, he nominated Pinckney, Marshall and Dana as Envoys. 
Upon the declination of Dana, Gerry was substituted. The first four of the 
following despatches were communicated by the President to both Houses 
on April 3, 1798, in response to a call for all the papers made by the House 
on the preceding day; the others were transmitted to Congress from time 
to time as they were received. 


I. Instructions to Charges Cotesworth Pinckney, John 
Marshau,, and Klbridge Gerry, Esqs., Envoys Extra- 
ordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary from the 
United States of America to the French Republic. 

Department of State, Jui,y 15, 1797. 
Gentlemen ; It is known to you that the people of the United 
States of America entertained a warm and sincere affection for 
the people of France, ever since their arms were united in the war 
with Great Britain, which ended in the full and formal acknowl- 
edgment of the independence of these States. It is known to you 
that this affection was ardent, when the French determined to 
reform, their Government and establish it on the basis of liberty; 
that liberty in which the people of the United States were born, 
and which, in the conclusion of the war above mentioned, was 
finally and firmly secured. It is known to you that this affection 
rose to enthusiasm, when the war was kindled between France 
and the Powers of Europe, which were combined against her for 
the avowed purpose of restoring the monarchy; and everywhere 
vows were heard for the success of the French arms. Yet, during 
this period, France expressed no wish that the United States 
should depart from their neutrality. And while no duty required 
us to enter into the war, and our best interests urged us to remain 
at peace, the Government determined to take a neutral station : 
which being taken, the duties of an impartial neutrality became 
indispensably binding. Hence the Government early proclaimed 
to our citizens the nature of those duties, and the consequences of 
their violation. 

A Government, thus fair and upright in its principles, and just 
and impartial in its conduct, might have confidently hoped to be 
secure against formal official censure; but the United States have 
not been so fortunate. The acts of their Government in its vari- 
ous branches, though pure in principle and impartial in operation, 
and conformable to their indispensable rights of sovereignty, have 
been assigned as the cause of the offensive and injurious measures 
of the French Republic. For proofs of the former, all the acts of 
the Government may be vouched ; while the aspersions so freely 
uttered by the French Ministers, the refusal to hear the Ministers 
of the United States specially charged to enter on amicable discus- 


sions on all the topics of complaint, the decrees of the Executive 
Directory and of their agents, the depredations on our commerce, 
and the violences against the persons of our citizens, are evidences 
of the latter. These injuries and depredations will constitute an 
important subject of your discussions with the Government of the 
French Republic; and for all these wrongs you will seek redress. 

We have witnessed so many erroneous constructions of the 
treaty with France, even in its plainest parts, it will be necessary 
to examine every article critically, for the purpose of preventing, 
as far as human wisdom can prevent, all future misinterpreta- 

Then follows a detailed examination of the same, and the instructions end 
as follows : 

On the supposition that a treaty will be negotiated to alter and 
amend the treaties, which now exist between France and United 
States, the following leading principles, to govern the negotiation 
are subjoined : 

i . Conscious integrity authorizes the Government to insist, that 
no blame or censure be directly, or indirectly, imputed to the 
United States. But, on the other hand, however exceptionable 
in the view of our own Government, and in the eyes of an impar- 
tial world, may have been the conduct of France, yet she may be 
unwilling to acknowledge any aggressions, and we do not wish to 
wound her feelings, or to excite resentment. It will, therefore, 
be best to adopt, on this point, the principle of the British Treaty, 
and ' ' terminate our differences in such a manner, as, without 
referring to the merits of our respective complaints and preten- 
sions, may be the best calculated to produce mutual satisfaction 
and good understanding." 

2. That no aid be stipulated in favor of France during the pres- 
ent War. 

3. That no engagement be made inconsistent with the obliga- 
tions of any prior treaty. 

4. That no restraint on our lawful commerce with any other 
nation be admitted. 

5. That no stipulation be made, under color of which tribunals 
can be established within our jurisdiction, or personal privileges 
claimed by French citizens incompatible with the complete sover- 
eignty and independence of the United States, in matters of policy, 
commerce, and government. 


It will be expedient to limit the duration of the treaty to a term 
of from ten to twenty years. Such changes in the circumstances 
of the two parties are likely to happen within either of those per- 
iods, as to give one or both good reason to desire a change in the 
conditions of the treaty. From this limitation may be excepted 
such articles as are declaratory of a state of peace, or as are in- 
tended to regulate the conduct of the two nations at the commence- 
ment of, or during a state of war, or which are founded in morality 
and justice, and are, in their nature, of perpetual obligation. Of 
this kind may be considered the tenth article of the treaty with 
Great Britain; 1 which, therefore, may very properly be introduced 
into the treaty with France. 

Finally, the great object of the Government being to do justice 
to France and her citizens, if in anything we have injured them; 
to obtain justice for the multiplied injuries they have committed 
against us, and to preserve peace; your style and manner of pro- 
ceeding will be such as shall most directly tend to secure these ob- 
jects. There may be such a change in men and measures in 
France, as will authorize, perhaps render politic, the use of strong 
language in describing the treatment we have received. On the 
other hand, the French Government may be determined to frus- 
trate the negotiation, and throw the odium on this country ; in 
which case, anything like warmth and harshness would be made 
the pretext. If things remain in their present situation, the style 
of representation will unite, as much as possible, calm dignity 
with simplicity, force of sentiment with mildness of language, and 
be calculated to impress an idea of inflexible perseverance, rather 
than of distrust or confidence. 

II. Despatch prom the Envoys to the Secretary op State. 
Explanatory Letter from the Secretary of State. 
The names designated by the letters W, X, Y, Z, in the follow- 
ing copies of letters from the Envoys of the United States to the 
French Republic, are, in the originals, written at full length, in 
ciphers. For the same reason that single letters are thus taken 
to designate certain persons named in the letters, other words de- 
scriptive of them are omitted. Timothy Pickering. 

1 This provided that private debts and moneys should not be sequestered 
or confiscated in time of war. Treaty of 1794. 


Despatch No. i. 

This first letter of the Envoys is given almost in its entirety, as it presents 
the three demands of the French Government. The words enclosed by 
brackets ( ) were omitted in the despatch as published, but have been sup- 
plied from the manuscript in the Department of State at Washington. 

Paris, October 22, 1797. 
Dear Sir: All of us having arrived at Paris, on the evening of the 
4th instant, on the next day we verbally, and unofficially, informed 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs therewith, and desired to know 
when he would be at leisure to receive one of our secretaries with 
the official notification. He appointed the next day, at two 
o'clock, when Major Rutledge waited on him with the following 
letter : 

Citizen Minister: The United States of America being desirous 
of terminating all differences between them and the French Re- 
public, and of restoring that harmony and good understanding, 
and that commercial and friendly intercourse which, from the 
commencement of their political connexion until lately have so 
happily subsisted, the President has nominated, and, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Senate, has appointed us, the under- 
signed, jointly and severally, Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers 
Plenipotentiary to the French Republic, for the purpose of accom- 
plishing these great objects. In pursuance of such nomination and 
appointment, and with such view, having come to Paris, we wish, 
Citizen Minister, to wait on you at any hour you will be pleased 
to appoint, to present the copy of our letters of credence ; and 
whilst we evince our sincere and ardent desire for the speedy res- 
toration of friendship and harmony between the two Republics, 
we flatter ourselves with your concurrence in the accomplishment 
of this desirable event. We request you will accept the assurances 
of our perfect esteem and consideration. 

Charles C. Pinckney, 
John Marshall, 
Elbridge Gerry. 

Paris, October 6. 

To this letter the Minister gave a verbal answer, that he would 
see us the day after the morrow, (the 8th,) at one oclock. Ac- 
cordingly, at that hour and day, we waited on the Minister at his 


house, where his office is held, when, being informed [that] he was 
at home, the Secretary General of the department told Major 
Rutledge that the Minister was obliged to wait on the Directory, 
and requested that we would suspend our visit till three o'clock; 
at which hour we called. The Minister, we found, was then en- 
gaged with the Portuguese Minister, who retired in about ten 
minutes, when we were introduced and produced the copy of our 
letters of credence, which the Minister perused and kept. He in- 
formed us, ' ' that the Directory had required him to make a report 
relative to the situation of the United States with regard to France, 
which he was then about, and which would be finished in a few 
days, when he would let us know what steps were to follow. ' ' 
We asked if cards of hospitality were in the meantime necessary ? 
He said they were, and that they should be delivered to us; and 
he immediately rung for his secretary and directed him to make 
them out. The conversation was carried on by him in French, 
and by us in our own language. 

The next day cards of hospitality were sent to us and our secre- 
taries, in a style suitable to our official character. 

On Saturday, the 14th, Major Mountflorence informed General 
Pinckney that he had had a conversation with Mr. Osmond, the 
private and confidential secretary of the Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, who told him that the Directory were greatly exasperated 
at some parts of the President's Speech at the opening of the last 
session of Congress, 1 and would require an explanation of them 
from us. The particular parts were not mentioned. In another 
conversation on the same day, the secretary informed the Major 
that the Minister had told him it was probable we should not have 
a public audience of the Directory till such time as our negotiation 
was finished ; that probably persons might be appointed to treat 
with us, but they would report to him, and he would have the 
direction of the negotiation. The Major did not conceal from Mr. 
Osmond his intention to communicate these conversations to us. 

On the morning of October 18th, Mr. W., of the house of (van 
Stophorts and Hubbard of Amsterdam,) called on General Pinck- 
ney and informed him that a Mr. X, who was in Paris, and whom 
the General had seen (at Amsterdam), was a gentlemen of con- 
siderable credit and reputation, (that he had formerly been a 

1 Special Session, Ma} 16, 1797. 


banker at Paris and had settled his affairs with honor, that he 
had then formed connections in America, had married a native of 
that country; intended to settle there; was supported by some 
capital houses in Holland), and that we might place great reliance 
on him. 

In the evening of the same day, Mr. X called on General 
Pinckney, and after having sat some time (in a room full of 
company), whispered him that he had a message from M. Tal- 
leyrand to communicate when he was at leisure. General 
Pinckney immediately withdrew with him into another room ; 
and when they were alone, Mr. X said that he was charged with 
a business in which he was a novice; that he had been acquainted 
with M. Talleyrand (in America), and that he was sure he had a 
great regard for (that country) and its citizens; and was very de- 
sirous that a reconciliation should be brought about with France; 
that, to effectuate that end, he was ready, if it was thought 
proper, to suggest a plan, confidentially, that M. Talleyrand ex- 
pected would answer the purpose. General Pinckney said he 
would be glad to hear it. M. X. replied that the Directory, and 
particularly two of the members of it, were exceedingly irritated 
at some passages of the President's Speech, and desired that they 
should be softened, and that this step would be necessary previ- 
ous to our reception. That, besides this, a sum of money was 
required for the pocket of the Directory and Ministers, which 
would be at the disposal of M. Talleyrand; and that a loan would 
also be insisted on. M. X. said if we acceded to these measures, 
M. Talleyrand had no doubt that all our differences with France 
might be accommodated. On inquiry, M. X. could not point out 
the particular passages of the Speech that had given offense, nor 
the quantum of the loan, but mentioned that the douceur for the 
pocket was twelve hundred thousand livres, about fifty thousand 
pounds sterling. General tinckney told him, that his colleagues 
and himself, from the time of their arrival here, had been treated 
with great slight and disrespect; that they earnestly wished for 
peace and reconciliation with France; and had been intrusted by 
their country with very great powers to obtain these ends on 
honorable terms; that, with regard to the propositions made, he 
would not even consider of them before he had communicated 
them to his colleagues; that, after he had done so, he should heat 
from him. After a communication and consultation had, it was 


agreed that General Pinckney should call on M. X. and request 
him to make his propositions to us all : and, for fear of mistake or 
misapprehension, that he be requested to reduce the heads into 
writing. Accordingly, on the morning of October 19th, General 
Pinckney called on M. X., who consented to see his colleagues in 
the evening, and to reduce his propositions to writing. He said 
his communication was not immediately with M. Talleyrand, but 
through another gentleman in whom M. Talleyrand had great 
confidence. This proved afterwards to be M. Y. 

At six in the evening, M. X. came and left with us the first set 
of propositions, which, translated from the French, are as follows: 

' ' A person who possesses the confidence of the Directory, on 
what relates to the affairs of America, convinced of the mutual 
advantages which would result from the re-establishment of the 
good understanding between the two nations, proposes to employ 
all of his influence to obtain this object. He will assist the Com- 
missioners of the United States in all the demands which they may 
have to make from the Government of France, inasmuch as they 
may not be contradictory to those which he proposes himself to 
make, and of which the principal will be communicated confiden- 
tially. It is desired that, in the official communications, there 
should be given a softening term to a part of the President's 
Speech to Congress, which has caused much irritation. It is 
feared that, in not satisfying certain individuals in this respect, 
they may give way to all their resentment. 

The nomination of Commissioners will be consented to on the 
same footing as they have been named in the treaty v/ith England, 
to decide on the reclamations which individuals of America may 
make on the Government of France, or on French individuals. 
The payment which, agreeably to the decisions of the Commis- 
sioners, shall fall to the share of the French Government, are to 
be advanced by the American Government itself. It is desired 
that the funds which, by this means, shall enter again into the 
American trade, should be employed in new supplies for the 
French colonies. Engagements of this nature, on the part of in- 
dividuals reclaiming, will always hasten, in all probability, the 
decisions of the French Commissioners; and, perhaps, it may be 
desired that this clause should make a part of the instructions 
which the Government of the United States should give to the 
Commissioners they may choose. The French Government de- 


sires, besides, to obtain a loan from the United States; but so that 
that should not give any jealousy to the English Government, nor 
hurt the neutrality of the United States. This loan shall be 
masked by stipulating, that the Government of the United States 
consents to make the advancements for the payment of the debts 
contracted by the agents of the French Government with the citi- 
zens of the United States, and which are already acknowledged, 
and the payment ordered by the Directory, without having been 
yet effectuated. There should be delivered a note to the amount 
of these debts. Probably this note may be accompanied by osten- 
sible pieces, which will guarantee to the agents the responsibility 
of the United States, in case any umbrage should cause an injury. 
There shall also be first taken from this loan certain sums for the 
purpose of making the customary distribution in diplomatic af- 

The person of note mentioned in the minutes, who had the con- 
fidence of the Directory, he said, before us all, was M. Talleyrand. 
The amount of the loan he could not ascertain precisely, but un- 
derstood it would be according to our ability to pay. The sum 
which would be considered as proper, according to diplomatic 
usage, was about twelve hundred thousand livres. He could not 
state to us what parts of the President's Speech were excepted 
to, but said he would inquire and inform us. * * * On the morn- 
ing of the 20th, M. X. called and said that M. Y., the confidential 
friend of M. Talleyrand, instead of communicating with us 
through M. X., would see us himself and make the necessary 
explanations. We appointed to meet him the evening of the 20th 
at seven o'clock, in General Marshall's room. At seven, M. Y. 
and M. X. entered; and the first mentioned gentleman, being in- 
troduced to us as the confidential friend of M. Talleyrand, imme- 
diately stated to us the favorable impressions of that gentleman 
toward our country — impressions which were made by the kind- 
ness and civilities he had personally received in America. That 
impressed by his solicitude to repay these kindnesses, he was 
willing to aid us in the present negotiation by his good offices 
with the Directory, who were, he said, extremely irritated 
against the Government of the United States, on account of 
some parts of the President's Speech, and who had neither 
acknowledged nor received us, and consequently have not author- 
ized M. Talleyrand to have any communications with us. The 


Minister, therefore, could not see us himself, but had author- 
ized his friend M. Y. to communicate to us certain propositions, 
and to receive our answers to them ; and to promise, on his part, 
that if we would engage to consider them as the basis of the pro- 
posed negotiation, he would intercede with the Directory to ac- 
knowledge us, and to give us a public audience. 

M. Y. stated to us, explicitly and repeatedly, that he was clothed 
with no authority; that he was not a diplomatic character; that he 
was not (even a Frenchman) he was only the friend of M. Talley- 
rand, and trusted by him; that, with regard to himself, he had 
(landed property in America on which he hoped his children would 
reside;) and he earnestly wished well to the United States. He 
then took out of his pocket a French translation of the President's 
Speech, the parts of which, objected to by the Directory, were 
marked, agreeably to our request to M. X., and are contained in 
the exhibit A. Then he made us 'the second set of propositions, 
which were dictated by him and written by M. X. in our pres- 
ence, and delivered to us, and which, translated from the French, 
are as follows: "There is demanded a formal disavowal in writ- 
ing, declaring the speech of the citizen President, Barras, did not 
contain anything offensive to the Government of the United 
States, nor anything which deserved the epithets contained in the 
whole paragraph. Secondly, reparation is demanded for the 
article by which it shall be declared, that the decree of the Direc- 
tory there mentioned did not contain anything contrary to the 
treaty of 1778, and had none of those fatal consequences that the 
paragraph reproaches to it. Thirdly, it is demanded that there 
should be an acknowledgment, in writing, of the depredations 
exercised on our trade by the English and French privateers. 
Fourthly, the Government of France, faithful to the profession of 
public faith which it had made not to intermeddle in the internal 
affairs of foreign Governments with which it is at peace, would 
look upon this paragraph as an attack upon its loyalty, if this was 
intended by the President. It demands, in consequence, a formal 
declaration that it is not the Government of France, nor its agents, 
that this paragraph meant to designate. In consideration of these 
reparations the French Republic is disposed to renew with the 
United States of America a treaty which shall place them recipro- 
cally in the same state that they were in 1778. By this new 
treaty, France shall be placed, with respect to the United States, 


exactly on the same footing as they stand with England, in virtue 
of the last treaty which has been concluded between them. A 
secret article of this new treaty would be a loan to be made by 
the United States to the French Republic; and, once agreed upon 
the amount of the loan, it would be endeavored to consult the 
convenience of the United States with respect to the best method 
of preventing its publicity." 

On reading the speech, M. Y. dilated very much upon the keen- 
ness of the resentment it had produced, and expatiated largely on 
the satisfaction he said was indispensably necessary as a prelimi- 
nary to negotiation. " But," said he, "gentlemen, I will not dis- 
guise from you that this satisfaction being made, the essential part 
of the treaty remains to be adjusted; il faut de V argent— il faut 
beaucoup d' argent;" you must ( pay money, you must pay a great 
deal of money. He spoke much of the force, the honor, and the 
jealous republican pride of France; and represented to us strongly 
the advantage which we should derive from the neutrality thus to 
be purchased. He said that the receipt of the money might be so 
disguised as to prevent its being considered as a breach of neutral- 
ity by Bngland; and thus save us from being embroiled with that 
Power. Concerning the twelve hundred thousand livres little was 
said; that being completely understood, on all sides, to be required 
for the officers of Government, and, therefore, needing no further 
explanation. These propositions, he said, being considered as the 
admitted basis of the proposed treaty, M. Talleyrand trusted that, 
by his influence with the Directory, he could prevail on the Gov- 
ernment to receive us. We asked whether we were to consider it 
as certain, that, without a previous stipulation to the effect re- 
quired, we were not to be received. He answered that M. Talley- 
rand himself was not authorized to speak to us the will of the 
Directory, and consequently could not authorize him. The con- 
versation continued until half after nine, when they left us; having 
engaged to breakfast with Mr. Gerry the next morning. 

October the 21st, M. X. came before nine o'clock; M. Y. did 
not come until ten: he had passed the morning with M. Talley- 
rand. After breakfast the subject was immediately resumed. He 
represented to us, that we were not yet acknowledged or received; 
that the Directory was so exasperated against the United States, 
as to come to a determination to demand from us, previous to our 
reception, those disavowals, reparations, and explanations, which 


were stated at large last evening. He said that M. Talleyrand 
and himself were extremely sensible of the pain we must feel in 
complying with this demand, but that the Directory would not 
dispense with it; that, therefore, we must consider it as the indis- 
pensable preliminary to obtain our reception, unless we could find 
the means to change their determination in this particular; that 
if we satisfied the Directory in these particulars, a letter would be 
written to us to demand the extent of our powers, and to know 
whether we were authorized to place them precisely on the same 
footing with England; whether, he said, our full powers were 
really and substantially full powers, or, like those of I^ord Malmes- 
bury, only illusory powers; that, if to this demand our answer 
should be affirmative, then France would consent that commis- 
sioners should be appointed to ascertain the claims of the United 
States in like manner as under our treaty with England ; * * * 

We required an explanation of that part of the conversation, in 
which M. Y. had hinted at our finding means to avert the demand 
concerning the President's Speech. He answered, that he was 
not authorized to state those means, but that we must search for 
them and propose them ourselves. If, however, we asked his 
opinion as a private individual, and would receive it as coming 
from him, he would suggest to us the means which, in his opin- 
ion, would succeed. On being asked to suggest the means, he 
answered, money; that the Directory were jealous of its own honor 
and of the honor of the nation; that it insisted on receiving from 
us the same respect with which we had treated the King; that this 
honor must be maintained in the manner before required, unless 
we substituted, in the place of these reparations, something, per- 
haps more valuable, that was money. He said, further, that if 
we desired him to point out the sum which he believed would be 
satisfactory, he would do so. We requested him to proceed; and 
he said that there were thirty- two millions of florins, of Dutch in- 
scriptions, worth ten shillings in the pound, which might be as- 
signed to us at twenty shillings in the pound; and he proceeded 
to vState to us the certainty that, after a peace, the Dutch Govern- 
ment would repay us the money; so that we should ultimately lose 
nothing, and the only operation of the measure would be, an ad- 
vance from us to France of thirty- two millions, on the credit of the 
Government of Holland. We asked him whether the fifty thou- 
sand pounds sterling, as a douceur to the Directory, must be in 


addition to this sum. He answered in the affirmative. We told 
him that, on the subject of the treaty, we had no hesitation in say- 
ing that our powers were ample; that, on the other points proposed 
to us, we would retire into another room, and return in a few min- 
utes with our answer. 

We committed immediately to writing the answer we proposed, 
in the following words: " Our powers respecting a treaty are am- 
ple; but the proposition of a loan, in the form of Dutch inscrip- 
tions, or in any other form, is not within the limits of our instruc- 
tions; upon this point, therefore, the Government must be con- 
sulted; one of the American Ministers will, for the purpose, forth- 
with embark for America; provided the Directory will suspend all 
further captures on American vessels, and will suspend proceed- 
ings on those already captured, as well where they have been 
already condemned, as where the decisions have not yet been ren- 
dered; and that where sales have been made, but the money not 
yet received by the captors, it shall not be paid until the prelimi- 
nary questions, proposed to the Ministers of the United States, be 
discussed and decided:" which was read as a verbal answer; and 
we told them they might copy it if they pleased. M. Y. refused 
to do so; his disappointment was apparent; he said we treated the 
money part of the proposition as if it had proceeded from the Di- 
rectory; whereas, in fact, it did not proceed even from the Minis- 
ter, but was only a suggestion from himself, as a substitute to be 
proposed by us, in order to avoid the painful acknowledgment that 
the Directory had determined to demand from us. It was told 
him that we understood that matter perfectly; that we knew the 
proposition was in form to be ours; but that it came substantially 
from the Minister. 

We asked what had led to our present conversation? And 
General Pinckney then repeated the first communication from 
M. X., to the whole of which that gentleman assented, and we 
observed that those gentlemen had brought no testimonials of 
their speaking anything from authority; but that, relying on the 
fair characters they bore, we had believed them when they said 
they were from the Minister, and had conversed with them, in 
like manner, as if we were conversing with M. Talleyrand him- 
self; and that we could not consider any suggestion M. Y. had 
made as not having been previously approved of; but yet, if he 
did not choose to take a memorandum in writing of our answer, 


we had no wish that he should do so; and further, if he chose to 
give the answer to his proposition the form of a proposition from 
ourselves, we could only tell him that we had no other proposition 
to make, relative to any advance of money on our part; that 
America had sustained deep and heavy losses by French depreda- 
tions on our commerce, and that France had alleged so [many] 
complaints against the United States, that on those subjects we 
came fully prepared, and were not a little surprised to find France 
unwilling to hear us; and making demands upon us which could 
never have been suspected by our Government, and which had 
the appearance of our being the aggressing party. M. Y. ex- 
pressed himself vehemently on the resentment of France ; and 
complained that, instead of our proposing some substitute for the 
reparations demanded of us, we were stipulating certain condi- 
tions to be performed by the Directory itself; that he could not 
take charge of such propositions; and that the Directory would 
persist in its demand of those reparations which he at first stated. 
We answered that we could not help it; it was for the Directory 
to determine what course its own honor and the interests of France 
required it to pursue; it was for us to guard the interest and honor 
of our country. M. Y. observed that we had taken no notice of 
the first proposition, which was to know whether we were ready 
to make the disavowal, reparations, and explanations concerning 
the President's Speech. We told him that we supposed it to be 
impossible that either he, or the Minister, could imagine that such 
a proposition could require an answer; that we did not understand 
it as being seriously expected; but merely an introductory to the 
subjects of real consideration. 

He spoke of the respect which the Directory required, and re- 
peated that it would exact as much as was paid to the ancient 
kings. We answered that America had demonstrated to the 
world, and especially to France, a much greater respect for her 
present Government than for her former monarchy: and that there 
was no evidence of this disposition which ought to be required, 
that we were not ready to give. He said that we should certainly 
not be received; and seemed to shudder at the consequences. We 
told him that America had made every possible effort to remain 
on friendly terms with France — that she was still making them; 
that if France would not hear us, but would make war on the 
United States, nothing remained for us but to regret the unavoid- 
able necessity of defending ourselves. 

president's speech. 15 

The subject of our powers was again mentioned; and we told 
him that America was solicitous to have no more misunderstand- 
ings with any Republic, but especially with France; that she 
wished a permanent treaty, and was sensible that no treaty could 
be permanent which did not comport with the interests of the par- 
ties; and, therefore, that he might be assured, that our powers 
were such as authorized us to place France on equal ground with 
England, in any respects in which an equality might be supposed 
to exist at present between them, to the disadvantage of France. 

a. Paragraphs of the President's Speech referred to 
in Despatch No. i, under title of Exhibit A. 

This message of President Adams, presented at the opening of the Extra 
Session of Congress, May 16, 1797, was called forth by M. Barras' address to 
Monroe upon his recall, and by the refusal of the French Government to re- 
ceive the new American Minister, Pinckney. 

i. With this conduct of the French Government it will be 
proper to take into view the public audience, given to the late 
Minister of the United States, on his taking leave of the Executive 
Directory. The Speech of the President's discloses sentiments 
more alarming than the refusal of a Minister, because more dan- 
gerous to our independence and union, and at the same time 
studiously marked with indignities against the Government of 
the United States. It evinces a disposition to separate the people 
of the United States from the Government; to persuade them that 
they have different affections, principles, and interests from those 
of their fellow-citizens, whom they themselves have chosen to 
manage their common concerns; and thus to produce divisions 
fatal to our peace. Such attempts ought to be repelled with a 
decision which shall evince France and the world, that we are not 
a degraded people, humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear, and 
sense of inferiority, fitted to be the miserable instruments of for- 
eign influence, and regardless of national honor, character and 

2. The diplomatic intercourse between the United States and 
France being at present suspended, the Government has no means 
of obtaining official information from that country; nevertheless, 
there is reason to believe that the Executive Directory passed a 
decree on the 2d of March last, contravening, in part, the Treaty 


of Amity and Commerce of 1778, injurious to our lawful com- 
merce, and endangering the lives of our citizens. A copy of this 
decree will be laid before you. 

3. While we are endeavoring to adjust all our differences with 
France, by amicable negotiation, the progress of the war in 
Europe, the depredations on our Commerce, the personal injuries 
to our citizens, and the general complexion of affairs, render it 
my indispensable duty to recommend to your consideration effect- 
ual measures of defence. 

4. It is impossible to conceal from ourselves, or the world, what 
has been before observed, that endeavors have been employed to 
foster and establish a division between the Government and peo- 
ple of the United States. To investigate the causes which have 
encouraged this attempt is not necessary. But to repel, by de- 
cided and united councils, insinuations so derogatory to the honor, 
and aggressions so dangerous to the constitution, union, and even 
independence of the nation is an indispensable duty. 

b. Answer of M. Barras, President of the Executive 
Directory, to the Speech of Mr. Monroe> on taking leave, 
to which the Speech of the President of the United 
States refers. 

Mr. Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America: 
By presenting to-day your letters of recall to the Executive Di- 
rectory, you give to Europe a very strange spectacle. 

France, rich in her liberty, surrounded by a train of victories, 
strong in her esteem of her allies, will not abase herself by calcu- 
lating the consequences of the condescension of the American 
Government to the suggestions of her former tyrants; moreover, 
the French Republic hopes that the successors of Columbus, Ram- 
hiph (probably intended for Raleigh), and Penn, always proud of 
their liberty, will never forget that they owe it to France. They 
will weigh, in their wisdom, the magnanimous benevolence of the 
French people with the crafty caresses of certain perfidious per- 
sons who meditate bringing them back to their former slavery. 
Assure the good American people, sir, that, like them, we adore 
liberty; that they will always have our esteem; and that they will 
find in the French people republican generosity, which knows how 
to grant peace, as it does to cause its sovereignty to be respected. 

As to you, Mr. Minister Plenipotentiary, you have combated for 


principles; you have known the true interests of your country: de- 
part with our regret. In you we give up a representative to 
America, and retain the remembrance of the citizen whose per- 
sonal qualities did honor to that title. 

III. Extracts from the Despatch of the Envoys to the. 
Secretary of State, No. 2, dated Paris, November 8„ 

This letter is written in the form of a diary. The following extracts have 
been selected with a view of showing the continued pressure brought to bear 
upon the Envoys to yield to the demands of the Directory. It is especially 
valuable, as it contains the account of Mr. Gerry's first interview with 

About twelve we received another visit from M. X. He imme- 
diately mentioned the great event ! announced in the papers, and 
then said, that some proposals from us had been expected on the 
subject on which we had before conversed: that the Directory were 
becoming impatient, and would take a decided course with regard 
to America, if we could not soften them. We answered, that on 
that subject we had already spoken explicitly, and had nothing 
further to add. He mentioned the change in the state of things 
which had been produced by the peace with the Emperor, as war- 
ranting an expectation of a change in our system; to which we 
only replied, that this event had been expected by us, and would 
not, in any degree, affect our conduct. M. X. urged, that the 
Directory had, since this peace, taken a higher and more decided 
tone with respect to us, and all other neutral nations, than had 
been before taken; that it had been determined, that all nations 
should aid them, or be considered and treated as their enemies. 
We answered, that such an effect had already been contemplated 
by us, as probable, and had not been overlooked when we gave to 
this proposition our decided answer; and further, that we had no 
powers to negotiate for a loan of money; that our Government had 
not contemplated such a circumstance in any degree whatever; 
that if we should stipulate a loan, it would be a perfectly void 
thing, and would only deceive France, and expose ourselves, 
M. X. again expatiated on the power and violence of France: he 
urged the danger of our situation, and pressed the policy of soft- 
ening them, and of thereby obtaining time. The present men,. 

1 Treaty of Campo Formio, Oct. 17, 1797, with Francis II. 


he said, would very probably not continue long in power, and it 
would be very unfortunate if those who might succeed, with bet- 
ter dispositions towards us, should find the two nations in actual 

vU vi* *±* «J> *L» «J> vL« *1* 

^ 7fc *f* *f+ *¥• *l+ *f* *f* 

M. X. again returned to the subject of money: Said he, gentle- 
men, you do not speak to the point; it is money: it is expected that 
you will offer money. We said that we had spoken to that point 
very explicitly: we had given an answer. No, said he, you have 
not: what is your answer? We replied, it is no; no; not a sixpence. 
He again called our attention to the dangers which threatened our 
country, and asked, if it would not be prudent, though we might 
not make a loan to the nation, to interest an influential friend in 
our favor. He said we ought to consider what men we had to 
treat with; that they disregarded the justice of our claims, and the 
reasoning with which we might support them; that they disre- 
garded their own colonies, and considered themselves as perfectly 
invulnerable with respect to us ; that we could only acquire an 
interest among them by a judicious application of money, and it 
was for us to consider, whether the situation of our country did 
not require that these means should be resorted to. We observed, 
that the conduct of the French government was such as to leave 
us much reason to fear, that should we give the money, it would 
effect no good purpose, and would not produce a just mode of 
thinking with respect to us. Proof of this must first be given us. 
He said, that when we employed a lawyer, we gave him a fee, 
not knowing whether the cause would be gained or not ; but it 
was necessary to have one, and we paid for his services, whether 
those services were successful or not: so, in the present state of 
things, the money must be advanced for the good offices the indi- 
viduals were to render, whatever might be the effect of those good 
offices. We told him there was no parallel in the case ; that a 
lawyer, not being to render the judgment, could not command 
success; he could only endeavor to obtain it; and consequently, 
we could only pay him for his endeavors; but the Directory could 
decide on the issue of our negotiation. It had only to order, that 
no more American vessels should be seized, and to direct those 
now in custody to be restored, and there could be no opposition 
to the order. He said, that all the members of the Directory were 
not disposed to receive our money: that Merlin, for instance, was 


paid from another quarter, and would touch no part of the douceur 
which was to come from us. We replied, that we understood that 
Merlin was paid by the owners of the privateers; and he nodded 
an assent to the fact. He proceeded to press this subject with 
vast perseverance. He told us that we paid money to obtain 
peace with the Algerines, and with the Indians; and that it was 
doing no more to pay France for peace. 

To this it was answered, that when our Government commenced 
a treaty with either Algiers or the Indian tribes, it was under- 
stood that money was to form the basis of the treaty, and was its 
essential article; that the whole nation knew it, and was prepared 
to expect it as a thing of course; but that in treating with France, 
our Government had supposed, that a proposition, such as he 
spoke of, would, if made by us, give mortal offence. He asked 
if our Government did not know, that nothing was to be obtained 
here without money ? We replied, that our Government had not 
even suspected such a state of things. He appeared surprised at 
it, and said, that there was not an American in Paris who could 
not have given that information. We told him, that the letters 
of our Minister had indicated a very contrary temper in the Gov- 
ernment of France; and had represented it as acting entirely upon 
principle, and as feeling a very pure and disinterested affection for 
America. He looked somewhat surprised; and said briskly to 
General Pinckney: "Well, sir, you have been a long time in 
France and in Holland ; what do you think of it ? " General 
Pinckney answered, that he considered M. X. and M. Y. as men of 
truth, and, of consequence, he could have but one opinion on the 
subject. He stated, that Hamburg, and other States of Europe, 
were obliged to buy a peace, and that it would be equally for our 
interest to do so. Once more he spoke of the danger of a breach 
with France, and her power, which nothing could resist. 

He said that France had lent us money during our Revolution- 
ary war, and only required that we should now exhibit the same 
friendship for her. We answered, that the cases were very differ- 
ent; that America solicited a loan from France, and left her at 
liberty to grant or refuse it : but that France demanded it from 
America, and left us no choice on the subject. We also told him 
that there was another difference in the cases ; that the money 
was lent by France for great national and French objects; it was 


lent to maim a rival and an enemy whom she hated ; that the 
money, if lent by America, would not be for any American 
objects, but to enable France to extend still further her con- 
quests. The conversation continued for nearly two hours : and 
the public and private advance of money was pressed and re- 
pressed in a variety of forms, At length M. X. said that he did 
not blame us; that our determination was certainly proper, if we 
could keep it; but he showed decidedly his opinion to be that we 
could not keep it. He said that he would communicate, as nearly 
as he could, our conversation to the Minister, or to M. Y. to be 
given by him to the Minister ; we are not certain which. We 
then separated. 

On the 22d of October, M. Z., a French gentleman of respect- 
able character, informed Mr. Gerry, that M. Talleyrand, Minister 
of Foreign Relations, who professed to be well disposed towards 
the United States, had expected to have seen the American Min- 
isters frequently in their private capacities; and to have conferred 
with them individually on the object of their mission; and had 
authorized M. Z. to make this communication to Mr. Gerry. 
The latter sent for his colleagues; and a conference was held 
with M. Z. on the subject; in which General Pinckney and Gen- 
eral Marshall expressed their opinions, that not being acquainted 
with M. Talleyrand, they could not, with propriety, call on him; 
but that, according to the custom of France, he might expect 
this of Mr. Gerry, from a previous acquaintance in America. 
This Mr. Gerry reluctantly complied with on the 23d, and with 
M. Z. called on M. Talleyrand, who, not being then at his office, 
appointed the 28th for the interview. After the first introduc- 
tion, M. Talleyrand began the conference. He said that the 
Directory had passed an arret, which he offered for perusal, 
in which they had demanded of the Envoys an explanation of 
some parts, and a reparation for others, of the President's Speech 
to Congress, of the 16th of May: He was sensible, he said, that 
difficulties would exist on the part of the Envoys relative to this 
demand; but that by their offering money, he thought he could 
prevent the effect of the arret. M. Z. at the request of Mr. Gerry, 
having stated that the Envoys have no such powers, M. Talleyrand 
replied, they can in such case take a power on themselves; and 
proposed that they should make a loan. Mr. Gerry then addressed 
M. Talleyrand distinctly in English, which he said he under- 


stood, and stated, that the uneasiness of the Directory resulting 
from the President's Speech was a subject unconnected with the 
objects of the mission: that M. B arras, in his speech to Mr. Mon- 
roe, on his recall, had expressed himself in a manner displeasing 
to the Government and citizens of the United States ; that the 
President, as the Envoys conceived, had made such observations 
on M. Barras's speech as were necessary to vindicate the honor of 
the United States; that this was not considered by our Govern- 
ment as a subject of dispute between the two nations; that having 
no instructions respecting it, we could not make any explanations 
or reparations relating to it; and that M. Talleyrand himself was 
sufficiently acquainted with the Constitution of the United States, 
to be convinced with the truth of these observations. Mr. Gerry 
further stated, that the powers of the Envoys, as they conceived, 
were adequate to the discussion and adjustment of all points of 
real difference between the two nations; that they could alter and 
amend the treaty ; or, if necessary, form a new one ; that the 
United States were anxiously desirous of removing all causes of 
complaint between themselves and France, and of renewing their 
former friendship and intercourse, on terms which should be 
mutually honorable and beneficial to the two nations, but not on 
any other terms; that as to a loan, we had no powers to make 
one; that if we were to attempt it, we should deceive himself and 
the Directory likewise, which, as men of honor, we could not do; 
but that we could send one of our number for instructions on this 
proposition, if deemed expedient, provided that the other objects 
of the negotiation could be discussed and adjusted; that as he had 
expressed a desire to confer with the Envoys individually, it was 
the wish of Mr. Gerry that such a conference should take place, 
and their opinions thus be ascertained, which he conceived cor- 
responded with his own in the particulars mentioned. M. Talley- 
rand in answer said, he should be glad to confer with the other 
Envoys individually, but that this matter about money must be 
settled directly, without sending to America ; that he would not 
communicate the arret for a week; and that if we could adjust the 
difficulty respecting the Speech, an application would nevertheless 
go to the United States for a loan. A courier arriving at this mo- 
ment from Italy, and M. Talleyrand appearing impatient to read 
the letters, Mr. Gerry took leave of him immediately. 


October 29. 
M. X. again called upon us. He said, M. Talleyrand was ex- 
tremely anxious to be of service to us, and had requested that one 
more effort should be made to induce us to enable him to be so. 
A great deal of the same conversation which had passed at our 
former interviews was repeated. 

The sum of his proposition was, that if we would pay, by way 
of fees — that was his expression — the sum of money demanded for 
private use, the Directory would not receive us, but would permit 
us to remain at Paris as we now were; and we should be received 
by M. Talleyrand, until one of us could go to America and consult 
our Government on the subject of the loan. These were the cir- 
cumstances, he said, under which the Minister of Portugal had 
treated. * * * We had no reason to believe that a possible 
benefit could result from it; and we desired him to say that we 
would not give a shilling, unless American property unjustly cap- 
tured was previously restored, and further hostilities suspended; 
and that, unless this was done, we did not conceive that we could 
even consult our Government concerning a loan; that if the Di- 
rectory would receive us and commence negotiations, and anything 
occurred which rendered a consultation of the Government neces- 
sary, one of us would return to America for that purpose. He said 
that, without this money, we should be obliged to quit Paris; and 
that we ought to consider the consequences: the property of the 
Americans would be confiscated, and their vessels in port em- 

^c ^ i>k bk ^ ik ilc 2fc 

October 30. 
Immediately after breakfast the subject was resumed. M. Y. 
spoke without interruption for near an hour. He said that he was 
desirous of making a last effort to serve us, by proposing some- 
thing which might accommodate the differences between the two 
nations. * * * M. Y. then called our attention to our situa- 
tion, and to the force France was capable of bringing to bear 
upon us. He said that we were the best judges of our capacity to 
resist, so far as depended on our own resources, and ought not to 
deceive ourselves on so interesting a subject. The fate of Venice 
was one which might befall the United States. But, he proceeded 
to observe, it was probable we might rely on forming a league 


with England. If we had such a reliance it would fail us. The 
situation of England was such as to compel Pitt to make peace on 
the terms of France. * * * Perhaps, said he, you believe 
that, in returning and exposing to your countrymen the unreason- 
ableness of the demands of this Government, you will unite them 
in your resistance to those demands: you are mistaken; you ought 
to know that the diplomatic skill of France, and the means she 
possesses in your country, are sufficient to enable her, with the 
French party in America, to throw the blame which will attend 
the rupture of the negotiations on the Federalists, as you term, 
yourselves, but on the British party, as France terms you; and 
you may assure yourselves this will be done. He concluded with 
declarations of being perfectly disinterested, and declared that his 
only motives for speaking thus freely, were his friendship for M. 
Talleyrand, and his wish to promote the interests and peace of the 
United States. * * * [In reply the American Commissioners 
spoke with great freedom, comparing the attitude and conduct of 
America with that of France, showing that] America was the only 
nation upon earth which felt and had exhibited a real friendship 
for the Republic of France. * * * To this distant, unoffending, 
friendly Republic, what is the language and the conduct of France? 
Wherever our property can be found, she seizes and takes it from 
us; unprovoked, she determines to treat us as enemies, and our 
making no resistance produces no diminution of hostility against 
us; she abuses and insults our Government, endeavors to weaken 
it in the estimation of the people, recalls her own Minister, refuses 
to receive ours, and when extraordinary means are taken to make 
such explanations as may do away misunderstandings, and such 
alterations in the existing relations of the two countries as may 
be mutually satisfactory, and may tend to produce harmony, the 
Envoys who bear these powers are not received; they are not per- 
mitted to utter the amicable wishes of their country, but, in the 
haughty style of a master, they are told that, unless they will pay 
a sum to which their resources scarcely extend, that they may ex- 
pect the vengeance of France, and, like Venice, be erased from the 
list of nations; that France will annihilate the only free Republic 
upon the earth, and the only nation in the universe which has vol- 
untarily manifested for her a cordial and real friendship ! * * * 
M. Y. manifested the most excessive impatience; he interrupted 
us and said: This eloquent dissertation might be true; America 


might have manifested, and he believed had manifested great 
friendship for France, and had just complaints against her; but 
he did not come to listen to those complaints. The Minister 
would, on our request, make for us certain propositions to the 
Directory; he had stated them to us, and all the answer he wished 
was, yes or no; did or did we not solicit the Minister to make the 
propositions for us ? * * * M. X. informed us that M. Talley- 
rand would not consent even to lay this proposition before the 
Directory, without previously receiving the fifty thousand pounds, 
or the greater part of it. M. Y. left in writing his propositions. 

November i. 

It was at length agreed that we should hold no more indirect 
intercourse with the Government. 

November 3. 

[ M. Y. again called.] He said that intelligence had been re- 
ceived from the United States, that if Colonel Burr and Mr. Madi- 
son had constituted the mission, the differences between the two 
nations would have been accommodated before this time. He 
added, as a fact he was not instructed to communicate, that M. 
Talleyrand was preparing a memorial to be sent out to the United 
States, complaining of us as being unfriendly to an accommodation 
with France. 

IV. Extracts from Despatches of the Envoys to the 
Secretary of State, Nos. 3 and 4. 

On the nth of November the Commissioners of the United States ad- 
dressed a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, informing him that they 
were ready to negotiate. They received no official answer, but in their 
letters to the Secretary of State of November 27 and Dec. 24, 1797, they report 

Frequent and urgent attempts have been made to inveigle us 
again into negotiation with persons not officially authorized, of 
which the obtaining of money is the basis. But we have per- 
sisted in declining to have any further communication relative 
to diplomatic business with persons of that description; and we 
mean to adhere to this determination; 1 [and] we are all of the 
opinion that, if we were to remain here for six months longer, 

1 From letter of November 27. What follows is from the letter of De- 
cember 24. 


without we were to stipulate the payment of money, and a great 
deal of it, in some shape or other, we should not be able to effect- 
uate the objects of our mission, should we be even officially re- 
ceived; unless the projected attempt on England was to fail, or 
a total change take place in the persons who at present direct 
the affairs of this Government. [Of these ' ' frequent and urgent 
attempts" were the calls of M. X. on the 14th of December, of 
M. Y. on the 17th, and] on the "20th of December, a lady, who is 
well acquainted with M. Talleyrand, expressed' to me her con- 
cern that we were still in so unsettled a situation; but, adds she, 
why will you not lend us money ? If you would make us a loan, 
all matters would be adjusted; and, she added, when you were 
contending for your revolution, we lent you money. [ M. Y. on 
the 17th, had a Conference with Mr. Gerry in course of which 
he stated] that two measures, which M. Talleyrand proposed, be- 
ing adopted, a restoration of friendship between the Republics 
would follow immediately: the one was a gratuity of fifty thou- 
sand pounds sterling, the other a purchase of thirty-two millions 
of the Dutch rescriptions. " * * * M. Y. and Mr. Gerry then 
took a ride to M. Talleyrand's bureau, who received them 
politely: * * * He (M. Talleyrand) said that the informa- 
tion M. Y. had given me was just, and might always be relied 
on, but that he would reduce to writing his propositions, which 
he accordingly did; and after he had shown them to Mr. Gerry, 
he burnt the paper. 

V. Extracts from the Letter of the Envoys to Talley- 

Having read the announcement that the Council had passed the decree 
recommended by the Directory, " to capture and condemn all neutral ves- 
sels laden in part, or in whole, with the manufactures or productions of 
England, or its possessions," the Commissioners, though still unrecognized, 
addressed an elaborate letter on the 27th of January, 1798, to Talleyrand, 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, setting forth in detail and with great ability 
the grievances of the United States. This letter concludes as follows: 

The Government of the United States still searches the means 
of terminating peacefully, and in a manner which ought to be 
mutually satisfactory, the calamities of the moment, and of avert- 
ing the still greater calamities which may be reserved for the 
future. Not even the discouraging and unusual events which 


had preceded the present effort to negotiate, could deter that 
Government from repeating its endeavors for the preservation of 
amity and peace. Three citizens of the United States have been 
deputed as Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary 
to the French Republic. Their instructions authorize and direct 
them to review the existing treaties between the two nations, 
and to remove, by all proper means, the inequalities which have 
grown out of the stipulations of those treaties, in consequence of 
the refusal of England to adopt the principles they contain. The} r 
are also directed to give fair and complete explanations of the 
conduct of the Government they represent; to state fully and 
truly the heavy injuries which their fellow-citizens have sus- 
tained; and to ask, from the equity of a great and magnanimous 
Republic, that compensation for tr/ose injuries which, we flatter 
ourselves, their justice will not refuse, and their liberal policy 
will not hesitate to give. 

Bringing with them the temper of their Government and coun- 
try, searching only for the means of effecting the objects of their 
mission, they have permitted no personal considerations to influ- 
ence their conduct, but have waited, under circumstances beyond 
measure embarrassing and unpleasant, with that respect which 
the American Government has so uniformly paid to that of France, 
for permission to lay before you, Citizen Minister, these important 
communications with which they have been charged. 

Perceiving no probability of being allowed to enter, in the usual 
forms, on those discussions which might tend to restore harmony 
between the two Republics, they have deemed it most advisable, 
even under the circumstances of informality which attend the 
measure, to address to your Government, through you, this can- 
did review of the conduct, and this true representation of the 
sentiments and wishes, of the Government of the United States. 
They pray that it may be received in the temper in which it is 
written, and considered as an additional effort, growing out of a 
disposition common to the Government and people of America, to 
cultivate and restore, if it be possible, harmony between the two 
Republics. If, Citizen Minister, there remains a hope that these 
desirable objects can be effected by any means which the United 
States have authorized, the undersigned will still solicit, and will 
still respectfully attend, the development of those means. 

If, on the contrary, no such hope remains, they have only to 


pray that their return to their own country may be facilitated; and 
they will leave France with the most deep-felt regret that neither 
the real and sincere friendship, which the Government of the United 
States has so uniformly and unequivocally displayed for this great 
Republic, nor its continued efforts to demonstrate the purity of its 
conduct and intentions, can protect its citizens, or preserve them 
from the calamities which they have sought, by a just and upright 
conduct, to avert. 

VI. Envoys' Account of Interview with Talleyrand. 

Extracts from their Report to Secretary of State, 

of March 9, 1798. 

[Upon the 2d and 6th of March, at the solicitation of the Com- 
missioners, Talleyrand accorded to them a personal interview: — ] 
He (Talleyrand) said that the original favorable disposition of the 
Directory had been a good deal altered by the coldness and dist- 
ance which we had observed; that, instead of seeing him often, 
and endeavoring to remove the obstacles to a mutual approach, we 
had not once waited on him. * * * The Minister said * * * 
that the Directory felt itself wounded by the different speeches of 
Mr. Washington and Mr. Adams, which he had stated, and would 
require some proof, on the part of the United States, of a friendly 
disposition, previous to a treaty with us. He then said that we 
ought to search for, and propose some means which might furnish 
this proof ; that if we were disposed to furnish it there could be no 
difficulty in finding it; and he alluded very intelligibly to a loan. 
He said he had had several conferences with Mr* Gerry on this 
subject, who had always answered that we had no power. Mr. 
Gerry said that he had stated other objections; that he had par- 
ticularly urged that it would involve us in a war with Great Brit- 
ain. He made no reply: and General Pinckney observed, that a 
loan had repeatedly been suggested to us, but that we had uni- 
formly answered that it exceeded our powers. Mr. Talleyrand 
replied, that persons at such a distance as we were from our Gov- 
ernment, and possessed, as we were, of the public confidence, 
must often use their discretion, and exceed their powers for the 
public good; that there was a material difference between acting 
when instructions were silent, and doing what was particularly 
forbidden; that if, indeed, a loan was positively forbidden, we 
might consider ourselves as incapable of making one; but if, as he 


supposed was the case, — he looked the question, — our instructions 
were only silent, that it must be referred to us to act in a case not 
provided for, according to the best of our judgment, for the 
public good; that, in almost all the treaties made during the 
Revolution, the negotiators had exceeded their powers, although 
the Government appointing them was at no considerable dist- 
ance. He particularized the treaty with Prussia, and several 
others. * * * M. Talleyrand again marked the distinction 
between silence of instructions and an express prohibition, and 
again insisted on the necessity of our proving, by some means 
which we must offer, our friendship for the Republic. He said he 
must exact from us, on the part of his Government, some proposi- 
tion of this sort; that, to prove our friendship, there must be some 
immediate aid, or something which might avail them; that the 
principles of reciprocity would require it. 

[On the 6th instant,] immediately after our arrival at his office 
we were introduced to the minister, and General Pinckney stated 
that we had considered, with the most serious attention, the con- 
versation we had had the honor of holding with him a few 
days past; that the propositions which he had suggested appeared 
to us to be substantially the same with those which had been 
made by Mr., X. by Mr. Y. and also to Mr. Gerry, with an inten- 
tion that they should be communicated to his colleagues; that we 
considered it as a proposition that the United States should furn- 
ish aid to France, to be used during the present war; that, though 
it was unusual to disclose instructions, yet we would declare to 
him that, in addition to its being a measure amounting to a 
declaration of war against Great Britain, we were expressly for- 
bidden by our instructions to take such a step. * * * [Talley- 
rand again pressed upon them the necessity of making a loan.] 

VII. Correspondence of Talleyrand and the Envoys. 


[On the 1 8th of March, Talleyrand replied to the the Commis- 
sioners criticising "the method which they (the Commissioners) 
have thought proper to pursue in the exposition. " ] So that it 
would appear from that exposition, as partial as unfaithful, that 
the French Republic have no real grievance tc substantiate, no 
legitimate reparation to demand, whilst the United States should 


alone have a right to complain — should alone be entitled to claim 
satisfaction. [ Then follows a presentation of the French griev- 
ances, in which he dwelt upon Jay's Treaty as the principal 
grievance. He writes,] he will content himself with observing, 
summarily, that in this treaty, everything having been calculated 
to turn the neutrality of the United States to the disadvantage of 
the French Republic, and to the advantage of England; that the 
Federal Government having in this act made to Great Britain con- 
cessions, the most unheared of; the most incompatible with the 
interests of the United States; the most derogatory to the alliance 
which subsisted between the said States and the French Republic; 
the latter was perfectly free, in order to avoid the inconveniences 
of the Treaty of London, to avail itself of the preservative means 
with which the law of nature, the law of nations, and prior treat- 
ies, furnished it. [He arraigns the administration, declaring 
that] the newspapers, known to be under the indirect control of 
the cabinet, have, since the treaty, redoubled the invectives and 
calumnies against the Republic and against her principles, her 
magistrates, and her Envoys. Pamphlets, openly paid for by the 
Minister of Great Britain, have reproduced, in every form, those 
insults and calumnies, without a]state of things so scandalous hav- 
ing ever attracted the attention of the Government, which might 
have repressed it. On the contrary, the Government itself was 
intent upon encouraging this scandal in its public acts. The Ex- 
ecutive Directory has seen itself denounced in a Speech delivered 
by the President in the course of the month of May last (O. S.) as 
endeavoring to propagate anarchy and division within the United 
States. The new allies which the Republic has acquired, and 
who are the same that contributed to the independence of the 
Americans, have been equally insulted in the official correspond- 
ences which have been made public, or in the newspapers. In 
fine, one cannot help discovering, in the tone of the Speech and 
of the publications which have been just pointed out, a latent en- 
mity which only waits an opportunity to break out. 

Facts being thus established, it is disagreeable to be obliged to 
think that the instructions, under which the Commissioners have 
acted, have not been drawn up with the sincere intention of ob- 
taining pacific results ; because, far from proceeding in their 
memorial upon some avowed principles and acknowledged facts, 
they have inverted and confounded both, so as to be enabled to 


impute to the Republic all the misfortunes of a rupture, which 
they seem willing to produce by such a course of proceeding. 

The intentions which the undersigned here attributes to the 
Government of the United States are so little disguised, that 
nothing seems to have been neglected at Philadelphia to manifest 
them in every eye. It is, probably, with this view, that it was 
thought proper to send to the French Republic persons whose 
opinions and connexions are too well known to hope from them 
dispositions sincerely conciliatory. 


It is impossible to foresee whither such dispositions may lead. 
The undersigned does not hesitate to believe, that the American 
nation, like the French nation, sees this state of things with 
regret, and does not consider its consequences without sorrow. 
He apprehends that the American people will not commit a mis- 
take concerning the prejudices with which it has been desired to 
inspire them against an allied people, nor concerning the engage- 
ments with which it seems to be wished to make them contract to 
the detriment of an alliance, which so powerfully contributed to 
place them in the rank of nations, and to support them in it; and 
that they will see in these new combinations the only dangers 
their prosperity and importance can incur. 

It is, therefore, only in order to smooth the way of discussions, 
that the undersigned has entered into the preceding explanations. 
It is with the same view that he declares to the Commissioners 
and Envoys Extraordinary, that, notwithstanding the kind of 
prejudice which has been entertained with respect to them, the 
Executive Directory is disposed to treat with that one of the three, 
whose opinions, presumed to be more impartial, promise, in the 
course of the explanations, more of that reciprocal confidence 
which is indispensable. 

The Envoys replied very fully in a joint letter, in which they declared, 
no one of the three was "authorized to take upon himself a negotiation 
evidently entrusted by the tenor of their powers and instructions to the 
whole." Pinckney and Marshall then left Paris. Gerry remained. He 
explained his action in a letter to the President, of April 16, 1798, as follows: 
" I expected my passport with my colleagues, but am informed that the 
Directory will not consent to my leaving France: and to bring on an imme- 


diate rupture, by adopting this measure, contrary to their wishes, would be 
in my mind unwarrantable." 

Paris, 14TH Germinal, (3D Aprii,,) 1798. 1 
6th year of the French Republic, one and indivisible. / 

I suppose, sir, that Messrs. Pinckney and Marshall have 
thought it useful and proper, in consequence of the intimations 
given in the end of my note of the 28th Ventose last, 1 and the 
obstacle which their known opinions have interposed to the de- 
sired reconciliation, to quit the territory of the Republic. On this 
supposition, I have the honor to point out to you the 5th or the 
7th of this decade, to resume our reciprocal communications upon 
the interests of the French Republic and the United States of 

Receive, I pray you, etc., 

Ch. Mail Talleyrand. 

[Gerry replied April 4, that] to resume this subject will be un- 
availing, because the measure, for the reasons which I then urged, 
is utterly impracticable. I can only then confer informally and 
unaccredited on any subject respecting our mission, and communi- 
cate to the Government of the United States the result of such con- 
ferences, being in my individual capacity unauthorized to give 
them an official stamp. [Shortly afterward copies of the dispatches 
of the envoys, with accounts of their interviews with X. Y. Z. and 
" the lady," appeared. Talleyrand at once (May 30th) addressed 
Gerry the following letter.] 

I communicate to you, sir, a London Gazette, of the 26th of 
last Floreal, (May 15, 1798.) You will therein find a very strange 
publication. I cannot observe, without surprise, that intriguers 
have profited of the insulated condition in which the Envoys of 
the United States have kept themselves, to make proposals and 
hold conversations, the object of which was evidently to deceive 

I pray you to make known to me immediately the names denoted 
by the initials W. X. Y. and Z. , and that of the woman who is de- 
scribed as having had conversations with Mr. Pinckney upon the 
interests of America. If you are averse in sending them to me in 

1 i^th of March. 


writing, be pleased to communicate them confidentially to the 

I must rely upon your eagerness to enable the Government to 
fathom those practices, of which I felicitate you on not being the 
dupe, and which you must wish to see cleared up. Accept the 
assurance of my perfect consideration. 

[After further correspondence Gerry finally replies: — ] 

Paris June — , 1798. \ 
Prairiai,, — , 6 an. / 
The names of the persons designated in the communications of 
the Envoys Extraordinary of the United States to their Govern- 
ment, published in the " Commercial Advertiser" of the nth of 
April last, at New York, are as follows: 
X., is Mr. (Horttinguer.) 
Y. , is Mr. Bellami. 
Z., is Mr. Hauteval. 

E. Gerry. 
To the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, of the French Republic. 


13TH Prairiai,, 6th year, 1 
June i, 2798. ' 
To the Minister of Exterior Relations: 

Mr. Gerry having communicated to me the letter which you 
yesterday wrote to him, by which you expressly desire that he 
may make known to you the persons meant by the letters W. X. 
Y. Z., in the correspondence of the American Envoys, printed in 
a public paper of the United States of America, dated April 12, 

My sensibility must be much affected on finding myself, under 
the letter Z. , acting a part with certain intriguers, whose plan it 
doubtless was to take advantage of the good faith of the American 
Envoys, and make them their dupes. Finding myself implicated 
in this affair, and wishing to remove my uneasiness respecting the 
disagreeable impressions, and the consequence which the publica- 
tion of your letter to Mr. Gerry might produce, I thought it my 
duty to hasten to you, and pray you, Citizen Minister, to be 
pleased to declare, in writing, that, in the conference I had with 
those gentlemen, I pursued the communications which you 


authorized me to make to them, in the manner I shall state 
below. [Then follows his version of the interviews with the En- 
voys, reference being made to the question of reparation for the 
" President's Speech," and to the suggestion of a loan to France, 
but all reference to the "douceur" is omitted.] 


[Talleyrand renews his endeavors to draw Mr. Gerry into a 
formal negotiation; in his letter of June 10, he declares that] as 
to the French Government, superior to all the personalities, to 
all the manoeuvres of its enemies, it perseveres in the intention of 
conciliating with sincerity all the differences which have happened 
between the two countries. I confirm it to you anew. The 
French Republic desires to be restored to the rights which its 
treaties with your Government confer upon it, and through those 
means it desires to assure yours. You claim indemnities; it equally 
demands them; and this disposition, being as sinceie on the part 
of the Government of the United States as it is on its part, will 
speedily remove all the difficulties. 

It remains for me to ask you, sir, whether you are at length in 
a situation to proceed towards this important object Receive, 
sir, the assurance of my perfect consideration. 

[On the 27th of June, he urged with increasing zeal the nego- 
tiation upon Gerry.] You seem to insinuate that these proposi- 
tions have long been delayed. They could not have been made 
until after the departure of your colleagues; the first open nego- 
tiations upon the differences which subsist between the two coun- 
tries take their date only since that recent period nothing was 
entered upon as long as the three Envoys were present- one alone 
manifested a temper of reconciliation. Afterwards, some time was 
necessary to unite the views you suggested with the determina- 
tion the Executive Directory has made, to place the respective 
interests in front. * * * I was, nevertheless, about to transmit 
the result of my reflections in the beginning of Prairial (between 
the 20th and last of May), when the incident happened 1 which for 
a moment suspended the principal object. I do not see what 
delay I could have prevented. I am mortified that circumstances 
have not rendered our progress more rapid, and it is in order to 

1 The publication of the despatches of the Envoys. 


accelerate it, as well as to obviate every new casualty, that I have 
pressed 3^011 in my last letter to remain at Paris. [Finally, on the 
22d of July, Talleyrand renounces all the earlier demands.] A 
negotiation may, therefore, be resumed even at Paris, where I 
flatter myself you have observed nothing but testimonies of 
esteem, and where every Knvoy who shall unite your advantages 
cannot fail to be well received. Moreover, I know not sir, why 
you tell me that it would be requisite to lop from this negotiation 
every preliminary respecting a loan, and explanations on the sub- 
ject of the speeches delivered. Be pleased to read over again the 
propositions which I transmitted to you on the 30th Prairial (June 
1 8th); they contain the ideas of the French Government, and you 
will not find in them a word which justifies your recurring to 
these two questions. An odious intrigue had got possession of 
them; the dignity of the French Government could not permit 
this mixture, and it did not wish that views as pure as its own 
should be associated therewith hereafter. 


This period, 1 sir, cannot be too near at hand. I do not cease to 
regret that you should refuse yourself the accelerating of it, by 
yielding to circumstances, persuaded, as I ever am, that you were 
fully authorized. 

Accept my wishes for your happy passage, and the assurance 
of my perfect consideration. 

The first four despatches, communicated to Congress April 3, 1798. were 
printed by order of Senate April 9. The effect upon the country was in- 
stantaneous. Indignation against France was both wide and deep. Sup- 
porters and defenders of France were discredited. Many moderate Repub- 
licans rallied to the support of the administration and the national honor. 

The later despatches, as they were published, tended to increase the 
resentment of both Congress and the country. The arrival of Marshall with 
the concluding correspondence between the joint Commissioners and Talley- 
rand (ante, pp. 28-31) led President Adams in his message of June 21, trans- 
mitting these documents to Congress, to pronounce negotiations at an end, 
and to give expression to that famous declaration, " I will never send an- 
other minister to France without assurances that he will be received, 
respected and honored as the representative of a great, free, powerful and in- 
dependent nation." 1 

Ten thousand copies of these latest dispatches were ordered printed and 
circulated. Popular excitement rose to the highest pitch. "Millions for 

- The restoration of amicable relations. 
1 Am. State Papers, Foreign Affairs, II, 199, 


defense but not one cent for tribute," became the cry. The rising temper of 
the country was reflected in the action of Congress. Beginning with April 
27, war-Ike measures were rapidly passed. 1 Statutes to place the army and 
navy on a war footing, and for the defense of the country, followed in quick 

The most important of these in their permanent influence were the acts 
for the establishment of the Navy Department, and for the building of the 
new Navy; the creation of the office of Lieutenant- General and Commander- 
in-Chief of the Armies, and the appointment and acceptance of this office by 
Washington ' 

As early as May 28, American cruisers were authorized to capture any 
French vessel found near the coast preying upon American commerce. This 
act, strengthened by subsequent statutes, especially that of July 7, abrogat- 
ing all treaties with France, led to the quasi-naval war with that country, 
which lasted for nearly two years Although neither country had formally 
declared war, the Attorney-General gave an opinion that a maritime war 
existed authorized by both nations. 3 

These international complicactions had a very marked influence upon 
domestic politics. The Federalists, flushed with their popularity, were led 
beyond the bounds of political discretion, in an attempt to crush their op- 
ponents, and strengthen themselves at home. To this end, following the 
example of England, they passed a series of reactionary measures, known 
as the Alien and Sedition Acts, 4 which in turn led to the promulgation of 
the Virginia and Kentuckj' resolutions. 6 The Democratic-Republican party 
turned the mistake of the Federalists to their advantage, by substituting as 
their political programme, in place of the defense and championship of 
France, the defense of the individual. On this platform they won the 
victory of 1800. 

The effect of the publication of the despatches upon the French govern- 
ment is seen by the marked change in the tone of Talleyrand's correspond- 
ence with Gerry. Talleyrand feigns innocence by requesting Gerry to 
furnish him with the names of the persons indicated by the letters W. X. Y. 
and Z. He then continues his efforts to try to inveigle Gerry to treat con- 
trary to his instructions, and to this end recedes from all his earlier demands, 
but without success. 

The attempt of George Logan, a Philadelphia Friend and self-appointed 
envoy to France, to intervene in the interest of peace, 6 led to no results 
except the enactment by Congresss of a law, which slightly modified is still 
in force, punishing by fine and imprisonment any citizen of the United States 
who, without authority, attempted to hold, "any verbal or written cor- 

1 Consult U. S. Stat, at Large, I, 552-607, for acts passed between April 27 and July 16, 1798. 

Letter of acceptance, Am. State Papers, Foreign Relations, II, 202. 

3 Opinions of At.-Genl., I, 84. 

* Naturalization Act, June 18, 1798, U. S. Stat, at I^arge, I, 566-569. Alien Act, June 25, 
1798, lb., 570-572. Alien Enemies Act, July 6, 1798, lb., 577, 578. Sedition Act, July 14, 1798, 
lb., 596, 597- 

8 MacDonald, Select Documents, 148-160. 6 McMaster, United States, II, 409, 410, 414-416. 


respondence with any foreign government, or its agents with intent to in- 
fluence the measures of such government in relation to disputes or controver- 
sies with the United States." l 

After the departure of Gerry, Talleyrand, on Aug. 28, opened indirect means 
of communication with the American government, through Pichon, the 
French Secretary of Legation at the Hague, and Murray, the American 
minister at the same place,' 2 and a month later sent word that "whatever 
plenipotentiary the Government of the United States might send to France 
in order to terminate the existing differences between the two countries, 
would be undoubtedly received with the respect due to the representative of 
a free, independent and powerful people." 3 To these advances, embodying 
the language of the President's Message, President Adams replied by nom- 
inating a new commission, finally composed of Chief-justice Kllsworth, Mr. 
Davie and Mr. Murray, who were authorized " to discuss and settle by a treaty 
all controversies between the United States and France. " 4 By the time they 
arrived in France the Directory had been superseded by Bonaparte as First 
Consul. With him they succeeded in establishing good relations, and con- 
cluded a treaty September 30, 1800. 5 


The sources are in American State Papers, Foreign Relations. Vol. 
II. (Washington, 1832), 150-182, 185-201, 204-244. This text has been fol- 
lowed. Also Annans of Congress of the United States, Fifth Con- 
gress, Vol. III. Appendix 3322-3559 (Washington, 1851.) 

Adams, John Quincy, and Adams, Charges Francis. The Life of 
John Adams. 2 vols. Phila., 1871. II. ch. X. 

Davis, J. C. Bancroft. Notes upon the Foreign Treaties of the 
United States. Senate Executive Documents, 2d Session, 48th Con- 
gress. Vol. I. Part 2.] 1 298-1308. 

Gibbs, George. Memoirs of the Administration of Washington 
and John Adams. 2 vols., New York, 1846. I. chs. XIII.-XV.; II. chs. 

Trescott, Wieeiam Henry. Diplomatic History of the Administra- 
tion of Washington and Adams. Boston, 1857. ch. III. 

Consult also Hii,dreth, IV. 645-682, 702-704 ; V. 125-159, 191-235 ; Mc- 
MasTER, II. 287-289, 311-323. 343-344. 367-410, 4M-4i6; Schoueer, I. 344- 
358, 373-392; and for additional references, Channing and Hart, Guide, 
§164; and Macdonaed, Seeect Documents. 135-136. 

1 Jan. 30. 1799, 1 Stat, at L , 613; U. S. Rev. Stat., 1036, sec. 5335; Wharton, Int. Eaw 
Digest, I, 755, 756. " State Papers, Foreign Relations II, 241. 3 lb., 242. 

4 Ratifications exchanged at Paris, July 31, 1801 ; Proclaimed, Dec. 21, 1801, Treaties and 
Conventions, 322. 

Foreign Relations II, 243. 

Translations and Reprints 



Vol. VI. The Early Germans. No. 3. 



I. Julius Cesar. 

Extract from the Gallic War 2 

II. Tacitus. 

Germany 4 

III. Josephus. 

Extract from the Antiquities of the Jews regarding the con- 
duct of the German Guard on the murder of Caligula. 27 

IV. Ammianus Marcellinus. 

Extract from the XVIth Book describing a battle with the 

Alamanni 3° 

Extract from the XXVIIIth Book illustrating Roman 
policy in dealing with the Germans . . . • 35 



C. Julius Caesar born ioo (ioi), murdered 44 B. C, became proconsul of the 
Gallic provinces in 58. While in this region he came in frequent contact 
with the Germans who were beginning to cross the Rhine into Gaul in large 
numbers. In describing the campaign of 53 B. C. Csesar makes a long 
digression to describe the manners and customs of the Gauls and the Ger- 
mans. The passage relating to the latter is here given. The best edition 
of the Gallic War is that of Kiibler. 

Lib. VI. cc. XXI-XXIV. {Latin). 

XXI. The customs of the Germans differ much from those of 
the Gauls; for neither have they Druids to preside over religious 
services, nor do they care much for sacrifices. They count among 
the number of the gods those only whom they can see, and whose 
benign influence is manifest; namely, the Sun, Vulcan and the 
Moon. Of the others they have never even heard. Their whole 
life is made up of hunting and thoughts of war. From childhood 
they are exercised in labor and hardship. Those among them who 
remain longest in a state of celibacy are held in the highest 
esteem, as they claim that thereby the stature of some is increased, 
while it adds to the strength and sinews of others. Indeed, to 
have had intercourse with a woman before twenty is considered a 
most disgraceful thing, nor is the concealment of such a matter 
possible, since they not only bathe together promiscuously in the 
streams, but use skins or small garments of reindeer hide for 
clothing, whereby a great part of the body is bare. 

XXII. They are not devoted to agriculture, and the greater 
part of their food consists of milk, cheese and flesh; nor does any- 
one possess a particular piece of land as his own property, with 
fixed boundaries, but the magistrates and the chiefs assign every 
year to the clans and the bands of kinsmen who have assembled 
together as much land as they please in any locality they see fit, 
and on the following year compel them to move elsewhere. They 
offer many reasons for this custom; that the people may not lose 
their zeal for war through habits engendered by continued appli- 
cation to the cultivation of the soil; that they may not be eager to 
acquire large possessions, and that the more powerful may not 
drive the weaker from their property: that they may not build too 
carefully in order to avoid cold and heat; that the love of money 


may not spring up, from which come divisions and dissensions; 
that the common people may be held in contentment, since each 
one sees his own wealth kept equal to that of the most powerful. 

XXIII. It is a matter of the greatest pride to the tribes to lay 
waste the borders of their territory as great a distance as possible 
and make them uninhabitable. They consider it a tribute to their 
valor when their neighbors are compelled to retire from those 
lands and when hardly any one dares set foot there; at the same 
time they think that they will thus be safer, since the fear of a 
sudden invasion is removed. When a tribe is either repelling an 
invasion or attacking a hostile territory, magistrates are chosen to 
lead them in the war, who have the power of life and death. In 
times of peace they have no general magistrate, but the chiefs of 
the districts and cantons exercise justice among their own people 
and settle controversies. Robbery, if done outside the borders of 
the tribe, carries with it no disgrace, and they declare that it is 
practiced for the sake of exercising the youth and preventing 
idleness. When any of the chiefs has said in an assembly that he 
is going to be the leader in a foray, and let those who wish to 
follow him hand in their names, they who approve of the raid 
and of the man rise up and promise their assistance, and are 
applauded by the masses. Those of the number who do not then 
follow him are considered deserters and traitors, and thereafter no 
faith whatever is placed in them. 

To violate the rights of hospitality they hold to be a -crime; 
whoever come to them for any reason whatever, they protect from 
injury, holding them sacred. Everybody's house is free to such, 
and they are furnished with food. 


Cornelius Tacitus, one of the greatest historians of the world, born about 
54 A. D., died probably about 120 A. D., is the great authority for the history 
of the early Empire. His chief works are the Histories, the Annals, the 
Life of Agricola, and Germany. The last contains almost everything that 
is known of the early Germans, and modern research has done little more 
than confirm what Tacitus has stated in this treatise. It was composed in 
98 A. D.. but from what sources the author drew the greater part of his 
information is unknown. Caesar is the only writer whom he expressly men- 
tions, though there is evidence that he also consulted the works of Pom- 
ponius Mela and Pliny the Elder. It has been supposed that he was an 
official in Gaul or one of the Germanies from 90 to 94, and so had personal 


knowledge of the people lie described, but he nowhere mentions such an 

The most convenient edition of the Germania for consultation is Fur- 
neaux, Oxford, 1894. It contains an excellent introduction and full notes. 
Of the many English translations the best is that of Church and Erodribb, 
of which the present editor has made free use. Horkel has a fine German 
translation in the Geschichtsschreiber der detttschen Vorzeit, Bd. II. 


Germania, ed. Furneaux, Oxford, 1894. {Latin). 

I. Germany proper is separated from the Gauls, the Rhaetians 
and the Pannonians by the Rhine and the Danube, from the 
Sarmatians and Dacians partly by the mountains, partly by their 
mutual fears. The ocean washes its other boundaries, forming 
deep bays and embracing large islands where various tribes and 
their kings have become known to us through the disclosures of 
recent war. The Rhine takes its rise in the steep and inaccessible 
fastnesses of the Rhaetian Alps, and, bending slightly to the west, 
flows into the northern ocean. The Danube, pouring down from 
the gently sloping ridge of Mount Abnoba, passes the borders of 
many nations, and finally forces its way through six outlets into 
the Black Sea; a seventh channel is swallowed up by the marshes. 

II. I should say that the Germans themselves were an indige- 
nous people, without any subsequent mixture of blood through 
immigration or friendly intercourse; for in ancient times it was by 
sea and not by land that those who wished to change their homes 
wandered, and the ocean, hostile, as it were, and of boundless 
extent on the further side, is rarely traversed by ships from our 
part of the world. And not to mention the danger of the terrible 
and unknown sea, who indeed would leave Asia or Africa or Italy 
to seek Germany with its wild scenery, its harsh climate, its sullen 
manners and aspect, unless, indeed, it were his native country? 
They tell in their ancient songs, the only kind of tradition and 
history that they have, how Tuisto, a god sprung from the earth, 
and his son Mannus were the originators and founders of their 
race. Mannus is supposed to have had three sons from whose 
names those nearest the ocean are called Ingaevones, those in the 
middle country, Hermiones, and the others, Istaevones. Certain 
people assert with the freedom permitted in discussing ancient 
times that there were many descendants of the god, and many 


tribal names, such as Mar si, Gambrivii, Suebi, Vandilii, and that 
these were their true and ancient names. But the name Germany, 
they say, is modern and of recent application, since those who 
first crossed the Rhine and expelled the Gauls, and who are now 
called Tungri, were then named Germans; thus what had been a 
tribal, not a national name, spread little by little, so that later they 
all adopted the newly-coined appellation that was first employed 
by the conquerors to inspire fear and called themselves Germans. 

III. They say that Hercules himself once visited them, and 
when about to go into battle they sing of him as the first of all 
heroes. They have also certain songs, by the intonation of which 
(bardituSy as it is called) they excite their courage, while they 
divine the fortune of the coming battle from the sound itself. 
They inspire or feel terror according to the character of the 
cheering, though what harmony there is in the shouting is one 
of valor rather than of voices. The effect they particularly strive 
for is that of a harsh noise, a wild and confused roar, which they 
attain by putting their shields to their mouths so that the 
reverberation swells their deep, full voices. Ulysses, too, is 
thought by some to have reached this ocean in those long and 
fabulous wanderings of his, and to have been cast upon the shores 
of Germany. They say he built and named Asciburgium, a town 
on the banks of the Rhine still inhabited; nay even that an altar 
consecrated by him and inscribed with the name of his father 
L,aertes has been found at the same place, and that certain monu- 
ments and tombs with Greek letters on them still exist within the 
confines of Germany and Rhaetia. I have no mind to argue 
either for or against the truth of these statements; let each one 
believe or reject them as he feels inclined. 

IV. I myself subscribe to the opinion of those who hold that 
the German tribes have never been contaminated by intermarriage 
with other nations, but have remained peculiar and unmixed and 
wholly unlike other people. Hence the bodily type is the same 
among them all, notwithstanding the extent of their population. 
They all have fierce blue eyes, reddish hair and large bodies fit 
only for sudden exertion; they do not submit patiently to work 
and effort and cannot endure thirst and heat at all, though cold 
and hunger they are accustomed to because of their climate. 

V. In general the country, though varying here and there in ap- 
pearance, is covered over with wild forests or filthy swamps, being 


more humid on the side of Gaul but bleaker toward Noricum and 
Pannonia. It is suitable enough for grain but does not permit the 
cultivation of fruit trees; and though rich in flocks and herds these 
are for the most part small, the cattle not even possessing their 
natural beauty nor spreading horns. The people take pride in 
possessing a large number of animals, these being their sole and 
most cherished wealth. Whether it was in mercy or wrath 
that the gods denied them silver and gold, I know not. Yet I 
would not affirm that no vein of German soil produces silver or 
gold ; for who has examined? They do not care for their posses- 
sion and use as much as might be expected. There are to be seen 
among them vessels of silver that have been presented as gifts to 
their ambassadors and chiefs, but they are held in no more esteem 
than vessels of earthenware ; however those nearest to us prize 
gold and silver because of its use in trade, and they recognize 
certain of our coins as valuable and choose those. The people of 
the interior practice barter and exchange of commodities in accord- 
ance with the simple and ancient custom. They like the old and 
well known coins, those with milled edges bearing the stamp of a 
two-horse chariot. They are more anxious also for silver coins 
than for gold, not because of any special liking, but because a 
number of silver coins is more convenient in purchasing cheap and 
common articles. 

VI. Not even iron is abundant, as is shown by the character of 
their weapons. Some few use swords or long spears, but usually 
they carry javelins, called in their language framea, tipped with a 
short narrow piece of iron but so sharp and so easy to handle that 
as occasion demands they employ the same weapon for fighting at 
close range or at a distance. A horseman is content with a shield 
and a javelin, but the footmen, either nude or lightly clad in a 
small cloak, rain missiles, each man having many and hurling them 
to a great distance. There is no particular adornment to their 
weapons except that their shields are distinguished by the most 
carefully chosen colors. A few wear cuirasses, but hardly any have 
helmets of metal or leather. Their horses are noted neither for 
their beauty nor their speed, nor are they trained to perform evolu- 
tions as with us. They move straight ahead or make a single 
turn to the right, the wheel being executed with such perfect 
alignment that no man drops behind the one next to him. One 
would say that on the whole their chief strength lies in their in- 


fantry. A picked body of these are chosen from among all the 
youth and placed in advance of the line where they fight mixed 
with the horsemen, since their swiftness makes them fully equal to 
engaging in a cavalry contest. Their number is fixed ; there are 
a hundred from each canton, and from this circumstance they take 
their name among their own people, so that what was at first a 
number is now become an appellation of honor. The main body 
of troops is drawn up in wedge-shaped formation. To yield ground, 
provided you press forward subsequently, is considered a mark of 
prudence rather than a sign of cowardice. They carry of! the 
bodies of the fallen even where they are not victorious. It is the 
greatest ignominy to have left one's shield on the field, and it is 
unlawful for a man so disgraced to be present at the sacred rites or 
to enter the assembly; so that many after escaping from battle have 
ended their shame with the halter. 

VII. They choose their kings on account of their ancestry, their 
generals for their valor. The kings do not have free and un- 
limited power and the generals lead by example rather than com- 
mand, winning great admiration if they are energetic and fight in 
plain sight in front of the hue. But no one is allowed to put a 
culprit to death or to imprison him, or even to beat him with 
stripes except the priests, and then not by way of a punishment 
or at the command of the general but as though ordered by the god 
who they believe aids them in their fighting. Certain figures and 
nnages taken from their sacred groves they carry into battle, but 
their greatest incitement to courage is that a division of horse or 
foot is not made up by chance or by accidental association but is 
formed of families and clans ; and their dear ones are close at hand 
so that the wailings of the women and the crying of the children 
can be heard during the battle. These are for each warrior the 
most sacred witnesses of his bravery, these his dearest applauders. 
They carry their wounds to their mothers and their wives, nor do 
the latter fear to count their number and examine them while they 
bring them food and urge them to deeds of valor. 

VIII. It is related how on certain occasions their forces already 
turned to flight and retreating have been rallied by the women who 
implored them by their prayers and bared their breasts to their 
weapons, signifying thus the captivity close awaiting them, which 
is feared far more intensely on account of their women than for 
themselves ; to such an extent indeed that those states are more 


firmly bound in treaty among whose hostages maidens of noble 
family are also required. Further, they believe that the sex has 
a certain sanctity and prophetic gift, and they neither despise their 
counsels nor disregard their answers. 1 We ourselves in the reign 
of the divine Vespasian saw Valaeda, who was considered for a 
long time by many as a sort of divinity; and formerly also Al- 
bruna and many others were venerated, though not out of ser- 
vility nor as though they were deified mortals. 

IX. Among the gods they worship Mercury most of all, to whom 
it is lawful to offer human sacrifices also on stated days. 2 Her- 
cules and Mars they placate by the sacrifice of worthy animals. 
Some of the Suebi sacrifice to Isis. The reason for this foreign 
rite and its origin I have not discovered, except that the image 
fashioned like a galley shows that the cult has been introduced 
from abroad. On the other hand they hold it to be inconsistent 
with the sublimity of the celestials to confine the gods in walls 
made by hands, or to liken them to the form of any human 
countenance. They consecrate woods and sacred groves to them 
and give the names of the deities to that hidden mystery which 
they perceive by faith alone. 

X. They pay as much attention as any people to augury and 
lots. The method of casting lots is uniform. They cut off a 
branch from a fruit-bearing tree 3 and divide it into small wands 
marked with certain characters. These they throw at random on 
a white cloth. Then the priest of the tribe, if it is a matter con- 
cerning the community, or the father of the family in case it is a 
private affair, calling on the gods and keeping his eyes raised 
toward the sky, takes up three of the lots, one at a time, and then 
interprets their meaning according to the markings before men- 
tioned. If they have proven unfavorable there can be no further 
consultation that day concerning that particular matter; but if 
they are favorable, the confirmation of auspices is further 
demanded. Even the practice of divination from the notes and 
flight of birds is known; but it is peculiar to this people to seek 
omens and warnings from horses also. These sacred animals are 
white and never defiled by labor, being kept at public expense in 

1 Cf. Caesar B. G. I. 50. 

3 The identification of German with Roman deities was natural for Tacitus, 
but arbitrary and without sufficient grounds. 
8 Elder, beech, oak, etc., might be included under this designation. 


the holy groves and woods. They are yoked to the sacred chariot 
by the priest and the king or chief of the tribe, who accompany 
them and take note of their neighing and snorting. In no other 
kind of divination is there greater confidence placed either by the 
common people or by the nobles; for the priests are considered 
merely the servants of the gods, but the horses are thought to be 
acquainted with their counsels. They have another sort of divina- 
tion whereby they seek to know the result of serious wars. They 
secure in any way possible a captive from the hostile tribe and set 
him to fight with a warrior chosen from their own people, each 
using the weapons of his own country. The victory of the one or 
the other is accepted as an indication of the result of the war. 

XI. Concerning minor matters the chiefs deliberate, but in im- 
portant affairs all the people are consulted, although the subjects 
referred to the common people for judgment are discussed before- 
hand by the chiefs. Unless some sudden and unexpected event 
calls them together they assemble on fixed days either at the new 
moon or the full moon, for they think these the most auspicious 
times to begin their undertakings. They do not reckon time by 
the number of days, as we do, but by the number of nights. So 
run their appointments, their contracts ; the night introduces the 
day, so to speak. A disadvantage arises from their regard for 
liberty in that they do not come together at once as if commanded 
to attend, but two or three days are wasted by their delay in assem- 
bling. When the crowd is sufficient they take their places fully 
armed. Silence is proclaimed by the priests, who have on these 
occasions the right to keep order. Then the king or a chief ad- 
dresses them, each being heard according to his age, noble blood, 
reputation in warfare and eloquence, though more because he has 
the power to persuade than the right to command. If an opinion 
is displeasing they reject it by shouting ; if they agree to it they 
clash with their spears. The most complimentary form of assent 
is that which is expressed by means of their weapons. 

XII. It is also allowable in the assembly to bring up accusa- 
tions, and to prosecute capital offenses. Penalties are distinguished 
according to crime. Traitors and deserters are hung to trees. 
Weaklings and cowards and those guilty of infamous crimes are 
cast into the mire of swamps with a hurdle placed over their 
heads. 1 This difference of penalty looks to the distinction that 

1 In which stones could be thrown to cause them to sink. 


crime should be punished publicly while infamy should be hidden 
out of sight. lighter offences also are punished according to their 
degree, the guilty parties being fined a certain number of horses 
or cattle. A part of the fine goes to the king or the tribe, part to 
the injured party or his relatives. 1 In these same assemblies are 
chosen the magistrates who decide suits in the cantons and vil- 
lages. Kach one has the assistance of a hundred associates as 
advisers and with power to decide. 

XIII. They undertake no business whatever either of a public 
or a private character save they be armed. But it is not custom- 
ary for any one to assume arms until the tribe has recognized his 
competence to use them. Then in a full assembly some one of the 
chiefs or the father or relatives of the youth invest him with the 
shield and spear. This is the sign that the lad has reached the 
age of manhood; this is his first honor. Eefore this he was only a 
member of a household, hereafter he is a member of the tribe. 
Distinguished rank or the great services of their parents secure 
even for mere striplings the claim to be ranked as chiefs. They 
attach themselves to certain more experienced chiefs of approved 
merit; nor are they ashamed to be looked upon as belonging to 
their followings. There are grades even within the train of 
followers assigned by the judgment of its leader. There is 
great rivalry among these companions as to who shall rank first 
with the chief, and among the chiefs as to who shall have the 
most and the bravest followers. It is an honor and a source of 
strength always to be surrounded by a great band of chosen 
youths, for they are an ornament in peace, a defence in war. It 
brings reputation and glory to a leader not only in his own tribe 
but also among the neighboring peoples if his following is supe- 
rior in numbers and courage; for he is courted by embassies and 
honored by gifts, and often his very fame decides the issue of wars. 

XIV. When they go into battle it is a disgrace for the chief to 
be outdone in deeds of valor and for the following not to match 
the courage of their chief; furthermore for any one of the followers 
to have survived his chief and come unharmed out of a battle is 
life-long infamy and reproach. It is in accordance with their 
most sacred oath of allegiance to defend and protect him and to 
ascribe their bravest deeds to his renown. The chief fights for 
victory; the men of his following, for their chief. If the tribe to 

1 In case the offense was homicide. 


which they belong sinks into the lethargy of long peace and quiet 
many of the noble youths voluntarily seek other tribes that are 
still carrying on war, because a quiet life is irksome to the Ger- 
mans and they gain renown more readily in the midst of perils, 
while a large following is not to be provided for except by violence 
and war. For they look to the liberality of their chief for their 
war-horse and their deadly and victorious spear; the feasts and 
entertainments, however, furnished them on a homely but liberal 
scale, fall to their lot as mere pay. The means for this bounty 
are acquired through war and plunder. Nor could you persuade 
them to till the soil and await the yearly produce so easily as you 
could induce them to stir up an enemy and earn glorious wounds. 
Nay even they think it tame and stupid to acquire by their sweat 
what they can purchase by their blood. 

XV. In the intervals of peace they spend little time in hunting 
but much in idleness, given over to sleep and eating; all the 
bravest and most warlike doing nothing, while the hearth and 
home and the care of the fields is given over to the women, the 
old men and the various infirm members of the family. The 
masters lie buried in sloth by that strange contradiction of nature 
that causes the same men to love indolence and hate peace. It is 
customary for the several tribesmen to present voluntary offerings 
of cattle and grain to the chiefs which, though accepted as gifts 
of honor, also supply their wants. They are particularly delighted 
in the gifts of neighboring tribes, not only those sent by individ- 
uals, but those presented by states as such, — choice horses, 
massive arms, embossed plates and armlets. We have now taught 
them to accept money also. 

XVI. It is well known that none of the German tribes live in 
cities, nor even permit their dwellings to be closely joined to each 
other. They live separated and in various places, as a spring or 
a meadow or a grove strikes their fancy. They lay out their 
villages not as with us in connected or closely-joined houses, but 
each one surrounds his dwelling with an open space, either as a 
protection against conflagration or because of their ignorance of 
the art of building. They do not even make use of rough stones 
or tiles. They use for all purposes undressed timber, giving no 
beauty or comfort. Some parts they plaster carefully with earth 
of such purity and brilliancy as to form a substitute for painting 
and designs in color. They are accustomed also to dig out subter- 


ranean caves which they cover over with great heaps of manure 
as a refuge against the cold and a place for storing grain, for re- 
treats of this sort render the extreme cold of their winters bear- 
able and, whenever an enemy has come upon them, though he lays 
waste the open country he is either ignorant of what is hidden 
underground or else it escapes him for the very reason that it has 
to be searched for. 

XVII. Generally their only clothing is a cloak fastened with a 
clasp, or if they haven't that, with a thorn ; this being their only 
garment, they pass whole days about the hearth or near a fire. 
The richest of them are distinguished by wearing a tunic, not 
flowing as is the case among the Sarmatians and Parthians, but 
close-fitting and showing the shape of their limbs. There are 
those, also, who wear the skins of wild beasts, those nearest the 
Roman border in a careless manner, but those further back more 
elegantly, as those do who have no better clothing obtained by 
commerce. They select certain animals, and stripping off their 
hides sew on them patches of spotted skins taken from those 
strange beasts that the distant ocean and the unknown sea bring 
forth. The women wear the same sort of dress as the men ex- 
cept that they wrap themselves in linen garments which they 
adorn with purple stripes and do not lengthen out the upper part 
of the tunic into sleeves, but leave the arms bare the whole length. 
The upper part of their breasts is also exposed. However, their 
marriage code is strict, and in no other part of their manners are 
they to be praised more than in this. For almost alone among 
barbarian peoples they are content with one wife each, excepting 
those few who because of their high position rather than out of 
lust enter into more than one marriage engagement. 

XVIII. The wife does not bring a dowry to the husband, but 
the husband to the wife. The parents and relatives are present 
at the ceremony and examine and accept the presents, — gifts not 
suited to female luxury nor such as a young bride would deck 
herself with, but oxen, a horse and bridle and a shield together 
with a spear and sword. In consideration of these offerings the 
wife is accepted, and she in her turn brings her husband a gift of 
weapons. This they consider as the strongest bond, these as 
their mystic rites, their gods of marriage. L,est the woman should 
think herself excluded from aspiring to share in heroic deeds and 
in the dangers of war, she is admonished by the very initiatory 


ceremonies of matrimony that she is becoming the partner of her 
husband's labors and dangers, destined to suffer and to dare with 
him alike in peace and in war. The yoke of oxen, the caparisoned 
horse, the gift of arms, give this warning. So must she live, so 
must she die. What things she receives .she must hand down to 
her children worthy and untarnished and such that future 
daughters-in-law may receive them and pass them on to her grand- 

XIX. Thus they live in well-protected virtue, uncorrupted by 
the allurements of shows or the enticement of banquets. Men 
and women alike know not the secrecy of correspondence. 
Though the race is so numerous, adultery is very rare, its 
punishment being immediate and inflicted by the injured 
husband. He cuts off the woman's hair in the presence of her 
kinsfolk, drives her naked from his house and flogs her through 
the whole village. Indeed, the loss of chastity meets with no 
indulgence; neither beauty, youth nor wealth can procure the 
guilty woman a husband, for no one there laughs at vice, nor is 
corrupting and being corrupted spoken of as the way of the 
world. Those tribes do better still where only the virgins marry 
and where the hope and aspiration of married life is done with 
once for all. They accept one husband, just as they have one 
body and one life, that they may have no thought beyond this, 
no further desire; that their love may be as it were not for the 
married state, but for the husband. 1 To limit the number of chil- 
dren or to put any of the later children to death is considered a 
crime, and with them good customs are of more avail than good 
laws elsewhere. 

XX. In every household the children grow up naked and un- 
kempt into that lusty frame and those sturdy limbs that we 
admire. Each mother nurses her own children; they are not 
handed over to servants and paid nurses. The lord and the 
slave are in no way to be distinguished by the delicacy of their 
bringing up. They live among the same flocks, they lie on the 
same ground, until age separates them and valor distinguishes 
the free born, f^he young men marry late and their vigor is 
thereby unimpaired.^ Nor is the marriage of girls hastened. 
They have the same youthful vigor, the same stature as the 

1 This emendation of the text is that proposed by Gudeinan in his edition 
of the Germania. 


young men. Thus well-matched and strong when they marry, 
the children reproduce the robustness of their parents. An uncle 
shows the same regard for his sister's children as does their own 
father. Some tribes consider this relationship more sacred and 
binding than any other, and in taking hostages lay special stress 
upon it on the ground that they secure thus a stronger hold on 
the mind and a wider pledge for the family. A man's heirs and 
successors, however, are his own children, and no wills are made. 
If there are no children the next heirs are the brothers, then come 
the paternal and maternal uncles. The more relatives a man has 
and the greater the number of his connections, the more honored 
is his old age. Childlessness has no advantages. 

XXI. A German is required to adopt not only the feuds of his 
father or of a relative, but also their friendships, though the 
enmities are not irreconcilable. For even homicide is expiated by 
the payment of a certain number of cattle, and the whole family 
accept the satisfaction, a useful practice as regards the state be- 
cause feuds are more dangerous where there is no strong legal 

No other race indulges more freely in entertainments and 
hospitality. It is considered a crime to turn any mortal man 
away from one's door. According to his means each one receives 
those who come with a well furnished table. When his food has 
been all eaten up, he who had lately been the host becomes the 
guide and companion of his guest to the next house, which they 
enter uninvited. There is no distinction between guests; they are 
all received with like consideration. No one makes any difference 
between friend and stranger so far as concerns the rights of hos- 
pitality. If the guest on going away asks for any gift, it is 
customary to grant it to him, and the host on his side feels the 
same freedom from constraint in making a request. They take 
great pleasure in presents, but they do not reckon them as favors 
nor do they put themselves under obligations in accepting them. 

XXII. As soon as they awake from sleep, which they prolong 
till late in the day, they bathe, usually in warm water as their 
winter lasts a great part of the year. After the bath they take 
food, each sitting in a separate seat and having a table to himself. 
Then they proceed to their business or not less often to feasts, 
fully armed. It is no disgrace to spend the whole day and night 
in drinking. Quarreling is frequent enough as is natural among 


drunken men, though their disputes are rarely settled by mere 
wrangling but oftener by bloodshed and wounds. Yet it is at 
their feasts that they consult about reconciling enemies, forming 
family alliances, electing chiefs, and even regarding war and 
peace, as they think that at no other time is the mind more open 
to fair judgment or more inflamed to mighty deeds. A race 
without natural or acquired cunning still continues to disclose the 
secret thoughts of the heart in the freedom of festivity. There- 
fore at such a time the minds of all are free and unconstrained. 
On the next day the matter is reconsidered and a particular 
advantage is secured on each occasion. They take counsel when 
they are unable to practice deception; they decide when they 
cannot be misled. 

XXIII. A liquor for drinking bearing a certain resemblance to 
wine is made by the process of fermentation from barley or other 
grain. Those next the border also buy wine. Their food is of 
a simple kind, wild fruit, fresh game or curdled milk. They 
satisfy their hunger without elaborate preparation and without 
the use of condiments. In the matter of thirst they do not use 
the same temperance. If you should indulge their love of drink 
by furnishing them as much as they wanted, they might be con- 
quered more easily by their vices than by arms. 

XXIV. As to games, but one and the same kind is seen in all 
their gatherings. Naked youths w T ho make profession of this ex- 
hibition leap and dance among swords and spears that threaten 
their lives. Constant practice has given them skill, skill has 
given graee. Still they do not indulge in this pastime with a 
view to profit. The pleasure of the spectators is the reward for 
their recklessness, however daring. They indulge in games of 
chance, strange as it may seem, even when sober, as one of their 
serious occupations, with such great recklessness in their gains and 
losses that when everything else is gone they stake their liberty 
and their own persons on the last and decisive throw. The loser 
goes into voluntary slavery. Though he may be the younger and 
stronger of the two, he suffers himself to be bound and led away. 
Such is their stubbornness in a bad practice. They themselves 
call it honor. They sell slaves of this description to others that 
they may not feel the shame of such a success. 

XXV. But they do not employ slaves as we do with distinct 
functions prescribed throughout the establisment. Each has his 


own domicile and rules his own house. The lord exacts a certain 
amount of grain or cloth or a certain number of cattle as in the 
case of a tenant and this is the extent of his servitude. Other 
duties, those of the household, are performed by the lord's wife and 
children. To beat a slave or to punish him with chains and task 
work is rare. They occasionally kill one, not in the severity of 
discipline but impetuously and in sudden wrath as they would kill 
an enemy, except that the deed goes without punishment. Freed- 
men do not rank much above slaves; they are not of much account 
in the household and never in the state, except only in those tribes 
that are ruled by kings. For there they are elevated above the free 
born and the nobles. The inferior position of the freedman else- 
where is the mark of the free state. 

XXVI. To trade with capital and to let it out at interest is un- 
known, and so it is ignorance rather than legal prohibition that 
protects them. I^and is held by the villages as communities ac- 
cording to the number of the cultivators, and is then divided 
among the freemen according to their rank. The extent of their 
territories renders this partition easy. They cultivate fresh fields 
every year and there is still knd to spare. They do not plant 
orchards nor lay off meadow-lands nor irrigate gardens so as to 
require of the soil more than it would naturally bring forth of its 
own richness and extent. Grain is the only tribute exacted from 
their land,w T hence they do not divide the year into as many seasons 
as we do. The terms winter, spring and summer have a meaning 
with them, but the name and blessings of autumn are unknown. 

XXVII. There is no pomp in the celebration of their funerals. 
The only custom they observe is that the bodies of illustrious 
men should be burned with certain kinds of wood. They do not 
heap garments and perfumes upon the funeral pile. In every 
case a man's arms are burned with him, and sometimes his horse 
also. They believe that stately monuments and sculptured 
columns oppress the dead with their weight; the green sod alone 
covers their graves. Their tears and lamentations are quickly 
laid aside; sadness and grief linger long. It is fitting for women 
to mourn, for men to remember. 

Such are the facts I have obtained in general concerning the 
origin and customs of the Germans as a whole. Now I will men- 
tion the institutions and rites of the separate tribes in so far as 
they differ from one another, and speak of the nations that have 
wandered over into Gaul. 


XXVIII. That prince of writers, the divine Julius, relates that 
in former times the Gauls were more powerful than the Germans, 
and so we may believe that they too have crossed over into Ger- 
many; for, whenever a tribe grew strong, how much of an ob- 
stacle would a river furnish to its occupying territory as yet 
unappropriated and not partitioned among powerful kingdoms, 
or of again exchanging such possessions for others ? Therefore 
it was that the Helvetii occupied the land between the Hercynian 
forest, the Rhine and the Main, and the Boii y another Gallic 
tribe, the land further on. The name Boihcsmum 1 remains to 
this day and attests the old tradition of the place, although the 
inhabitants have changed. But whether the Aravisci migrated 
into Pannonia from the Osi, or the Osi migrated into Germany 
from the Aravisci, is uncertain, though they have the same 
language, institutions and customs; for originally on account of 
the equal poverty and equal freedom on either bank of the river 
there was no choice between them. The Treverii and Nervii go 
so far as to pride themselves on their claim to a German origin 
as though to be freed by the glory of such a relationship from the 
disgrace of Gallic effeminacy. People of undoubted German 
blood occupy the Rhine bank itself— the Vangiones, the Triboci 
and the Nemetes. Not even the Ubii y though they have earned 
the right to be known as a Roman colony and prefer to be 
called Agrippinenses from the name of their founder, blush at 
their German origin. In former times they crossed over and by 
reason of their tried loyalty were settled on the bank of the Rhine 
as worthy to guard it, but not needing to be watched themselves. 

XXIX. Of all these tribes the Batavi, who cover not much of 
the river front, but inhabit an island in the Rhine itself, are 
especially distinguished by their valor. Once a division of the 
Chatti, they came across to these possessions on account of a 
domestic uprising and were destined to become here a part of the 
Roman empire. They retain certain honors as evidence of an 
ancient alliance; for they are neither insulted by tribute nor ground 
down by the tax-farmer. Exempt from burdens and imposts 
and set apart for employment as warriors only, they are reserved 
for our wars like a magazine of arms and weapons. The Mattiaci 
hold the same relationship to us, for the greatness of Rome has 
spread the reverence for her empire beyond the Rhine and beyond 

1 1. e., Boier Heimat. 


her ancient boundaries. And so, though their territories are on 
the other side of the river, they are united to us in sentiment and 
purpose, resembling the Batavi in all things except that they are 
still more warlike because of the soil and climate of their land. 
I should not enumerate among the peoples of Germany those 
who, though they live on the other side of the Rhine and Dan- 
ube, cultivate the tithe-lands. The most worthless of the Gauls, 
made reckless by poverty, occupied these lands of uncertain 
ownership. After a little, the frontier line being advanced and 
forts erected, they were reckoned as an outpost of the empire and 
a part of the province of Upper Germany. 

XXX. Beyond these are the Chatti. Their settlements begin 
at the Hercynian Forest, where the land is less level and swampy 
than in the other regions comprehended within the limits of 
Germany; for the hills last through their territory and then 
gradually disappear, and the Hercynian Forest accompanies its 
native Chatti till it has seen the last of them. This tribe have 
very powerful bodies, close-knit limbs, fierce looks and great 
activity of mind. For Germans they show intelligence and 
cleverness. They choose their leaders and obey them; they know 
their places in the ranks; they notice opportunities and wait for 
the right moment of attack; they map out the day according to 
what they have to do, and at night fortify their camps; they hold 
luck as uncertain, courage a sure means of success; and, what is 
very unusual except in the case of Roman discipline, they place 
more reliance on their leader than on. the army. Their entire 
strength lies in their infantry which they furnish with intrench- 
ing tools and provisions besides their regular arms. You see 
other Germans setting out to fight a battle, the Chatti, however, 
to conduct a campaign. They rarely engage in sudden dashes 
and chance battles. And this may well be so, for it is the pecu- 
liarity of cavalry to yield a victory as easily as they win one. 
Fleetness is allied to timidity, deliberateness is nearer to 

XXXI. A practice occasionally found among the other German 
peoples as a mark of individual daring has become universal 
among the Chatti; namely, when they have arrived at manhood 
they let the hair and beard grow wild and unkempt, nor will they 
trim them and thus lay aside the peculiar aspect which devotes 
and pledges them to valor until they have killed their man. Over 


the blood and spoils of an enemy they bare their faces for the 
first time, and not till then do they feel that they have paid the 
price of their birth and shown themselves worthy of their parents 
and their country. Weak and cowardly men remain unshorn. 
The very bravest wear, besides, an iron ring (a mark of great in- 
famy with that tribe) as a token of bondage until they have freed 
themselves by the killing of an enemy. Very many of the Chatti 
take pride in appearing in this fashion and are thus marked out 
for distinction among enemies and friends alike until they become 
grey-headed old men. These are the ones who begin all the 
battles ; they form the first line of attack, an unusual spectacle. 
And they are a strange sight at other times, too, for even in peace 
they do not soften themselves by a less fierce mode of life. They 
have no houses nor fields nor occupation of any kind. They are 
supported by whomsoever they choose to visit, being as lavish 
with the possessions of another as they are prodigal of their own, 
until the weakness of old age renders them unequal to such harsh 
and heroic discipline. 

XXXII. Next to the Chatti dwell the Usifiii and Tencteri along 
the Rhine which here has a fixed channel and is fitted to form a 
boundary. The Tencteri over and above ordinary warlike skill 
excel in horsemanship. The renown of the infantry of the Chatti 
is not greater than that of the cavalry of the Tencteti. The rep- 
utation thus established by the ancestors is maintained by their 
descendants. Horsemanship forms the sport of the children and 
the rivalry of the youths, while among the old men its practice is 
still kept up. Horses are considered as part of the household and 
the domestic establishment and as subjects of rightful inheritance. 
The son who receives the horse is not the oldest, to whom the 
other property goes, but the fiercest and bravest. 

XXXIII. The Bructeri once Irved next the Tencteri. But 
now the story is told that the Chamavi and Angrivarii entered 
their territories, drove them out and almost * annihilated them 
with the consent of the neighboring nations, either because of 
the hatred inspired by their pride or through love of plunder. 
This was a special favor and kindness of the gods towards us. 
They did not even grudge us the sight of the battle. Above 
sixty thousand men fell, not beneath the arms of Roman soldiers 
but, what is grander, for their delight and pleasure. I pray 

1 See Gudeman. 


there may continue to exist among these tribes, if not a love for 
us, at least a hatred for each other, since, while the destinies of 
the empire drive us on, fortune can offer us nothing better than 
the discord of our enemies. 

XXXIV. The Angrivarii and Chamavi are enclosed by the 
Dulgubiin, the Chasuarii and other tribes hardly worthy of men- 
tion on the east, and by the FHsii on the west. The latter are 
spoken of as the Greater and Lesser Frisii, according to the 
measure of their strength. The two tribes are bordered by the 
Rhine clear to the ocean, and dwell besides around great lakes 
that are navigable to Roman fleets. We have even ventured 
upon the ocean itself in that quarter. Rumor has it that pillars 
of Hercules still exist there, though whether Hercules ever vis- 
ited those parts or whether we are inclined to assign to his glory 
whatever is sublime in any part of the world, I will not say. 
Drusus Germanicus dared these perils, but the ocean forbad the 
exploration of its own waters or of the works of Hercules. 
Afterwards none ventured so far, as it seemed more in accordance 
with piety and reverence to believe in the great deeds of the gods 
rather than to inquire into them. 

XXXV. So far we have been speaking of western Germany. 
To the north its territories extend back in a great sweep. First 
comes the tribe of the Chauci, which, though it is bounded on one 
side by the Frisii and occupies a part of the coast, extends along 
the frontiers of all the tribes I have been mentioning, and finally 
extends south to the Chatti. So great an extent of territory is 
not only held in possession, but thickly populated also by the 
Chauci, the noblest of the German people, for they prefer to 
maintain themselves by just dealings. Without cupidity and 
without insolence, quiet and retired, they stir up no wars nor 
ravage the lands of others with rapine and robbery. It is a 
mark of their valor and the sign of their strength that they do 
not need to practice aggressions in order that they may stand 
pre-eminent. Nevertheless, arms are ready at the hands of 
every man, and when occasion requires, an organized army strong 
in horse and foot is forthcoming. When they are at peace their 
renown is the same. 

XXXVI. By the side of the Chauci and Chatti are the Cherusci, 
who being undisturbed indulged in a long and enervating peace. 
This was pleasanter than it was safe, for between lawless and 


powerful neighbors it is a mistake to think of repose. Where the 
strong hand rules, moderation and justice are titles becoming only 
to the more powerful. And so those who were formerly called 
the good and upright Cherusci are now spoken of as cowards 
and fools. When the Chaiti were victorious their good luck went 
for wisdom. Dragged into the ruin of the Cherusci, the Fosi also, 
a neighboring tribe, shared equally their misfortunes, though in 
prosperous days they had been inferior to them. 

XXXVII. The same neck of land is occupied by the Cimbri, 
now a small tribe, but of great renown. Vestiges of their ancient 
power still remain in the shape of great camps on either bank of 
the Rhine, and by their extent you can judge of the multitude of 
hands that were at work, and how credible is the story of their 
mighty emigration. Our city was in its six hundred and fortieth 
year when the report of the Cimbric invasion came to our ears in 
the consulship of Metellus and Papirius Carbo. Reckoning from 
this time to the second consulship of the Emperor Trajan, about 
two hundred and ten years are summed up. 1 So long has our 
so-called conquest of Germany taken us. During this extended 
period the losses have been great on both sides. Neither the 
Samnites nor the Carthaginians, the two Spains nor the Gauls, 
nor even the Parthians themselves, have oftener threatened our 
power. Truly, the liberty of the Germans is a fiercer menace 
than the Arsacid despotism. For with what else can the East 
taunt us save the destruction of Crassus, and that, too, counter- 
balanced by the fall of Pacorus overthrown by a Ventidius ? But 
the Germans by defeating or capturing Carbo and Cassius, 
Scaurus Aurelius and Servilius Caepio and Gnaeus Mallius, have 
deprived the Roman people of five consular armies in one war, 
and taken Varus and his three legions even from Caesar. Nor 
was it without loss that C. Marius defeated them in Italy, the 
divine Julius in Gaul, and Drusus, Nero and Germanicus in their 
own land. Afterwards the mighty threats of Gaius Csesar were 
turned to ridicule. Then there was quiet until on occasion of our 
discord and civil war they stormed the winter camp of the legions 
and even laid claim to the provinces of Gaul. And now they 
have been again repulsed in recent times, though it w r as less a 
defeat for the enemy than an excuse for a triumph in Rome. 

XXXVIII. Now we must speak of the Suebi, who are not one 
1 This passage fixes the date of the Germania at A. D. 98. 


tribe as is the case with the Chatti and Tenderi; for they possess 
the greater part of Germany and are besides divided into nations 
having each its own name, though all have the common appella- 
tion of Suebi. A characteristic of these people is that they comb 
back the hair on each side and gather it in a knot below. In this 
manner the Suebi are distinguished from the other Germans, and 
the free Suebi from their slaves. Among other tribes, either on 
account of some relationship to the Suebi or, as often, happens, in 
imitation of them, the practice also obtains, but it is rare and con- 
fined to youths. Among the Suebi, however, even till old age they 
continue to fasten back their unkempt hair, and often they knot it 
on the very top of the head. The chiefs arrange their hair still 
more ornately. This comes from their care for their personal ap- 
pearance, but it is not mere vanity; for they do not adorn them- 
selves in order to enter the lists of love, but they thus add to their 
height that they may appear more terrible to the eyes of the enemy 
when going into battle. 

XXXIX. They say the Semnones are the oldest and noblest of 
the Suebian tribes. The belief in their antiquity is confirmed by 
a religious institution. At a fixed time all the people of the same 
blood are assembled through their representatives in a grove hal- 
lowed by the sacred rites of their ancestors and by ancient rever- 
ence, where they publicly sacrifice a human being and celebrate 
the horrible initiatory rites of barbarism. Another form of rever- 
ence paid to this grove is that no one dare enter it unless he be 
bound by a cord, as outwardly acknowledging himself a subject of 
the god and under his power. If he falls down by chance he is not 
permitted to rise to his feet or to be lifted up, but must roll away 
on the ground. This whole superstition rests on the belief that 
from this place the race took its origin, that there dwells the god, 
the ruler of all things, to whom everything is subject and obedient. 
Their good fortune gives the Semnones further consideration. A 
hundred cantons are occupied by them, and their great numbers 
cause them to regard themselves as the head of the Suebian race. 
XL. On the other hand the small number of their people gives 
distinction to the Layigobardi. Surrounded by numerous power- 
ful tribes, they maintain their position not 03^ submission but by the 
risks of battle. Beyond them the Rendigni, Aviones, Anglii, 
Varini, Eudoses, Sua?'dones and Nuithones are protected by their 
rivers and forests. There is nothing worthy of note among these 


various tribes except their common worship of Nerthus, that is, 
Mother Earth, and their belief that she intervenes in human 
affairs and visits mankind. On a certain island of the ocean there 
is a sacred grove wherein is a chariot dedicated to her, protected by 
a covering. Only one priest is allowed to touch it. He knows 
when the goddess takes her place in the sacred car, and walks be- 
side her with great reverence as she is drawn along by heifers. 
It is a time of rejoicing whenever she approaches and festivities 
reign wherever she deigns to be received. At such a time they 
undertake no wars and arms are laid aside. Every weapon is 
locked up. Then only is quiet to be noticed among these people; 
then only do they love peace, until the goddess wearied with; 
human intercourse is conducted back to her temple b}^ the priest. 
Then the chariot and its coverings and, if you care to believe it, 
the divinity herself, are purified in a secret lake. Slaves attend to 
this, who are immediately swallowed up by the same waters. 
Hence comes a mysterious fear and pious ignorance, since they 
only who are about to die see what the mysteries are. 

XIX This division of the Suebi extends back in fact into the 
remoter parts of Germany. Nearer to us (I shall now follow the 
course of the Danube as I previously did that of the Rhine) are 
situated the Hermunduri, a tribe friendly to the Romans. Con- 
sequently they are the only Germans who trade not only on the 
river bank but far within the province of Rhaetia and with its 
most flourishing colony. They travel about everywhere without 
a guard, and while we show to the other tribes only our arms 
and fortified camps, we freely throw open our homes and our 
villas to these, knowing that they do not covet them. In the 
territory of the Hermunduri the Elbe takes its rise, a famous 
river, once well known though now we only hear of it. 

XIJI. Next the Hermunduri are found the Narisli, and 
further on the Marcomani and Quadi. The Marcomani are dis- 
tinguished for their strength and renown, and even their terri- 
tory was won from the Boii, whom they drove out by their valor. 
Nor do the Naristi and Quadi fall below them. And these are, 
as it were, the front presented to the empire by Germany, so far 
as it is girdled by the Danube. Up to our own time the Mar- 
comani and Quadi continued to be ruled over by kings of their 
own race, of the noble family of Maroboduus and Tudrus (now 
they submit even to kings from other tribes), but the force and 


power of their kings is derived from Roman support. They are 
rarely assisted by our arms, but often enough by subsidies from 
us, which are no less efficacious. 

Xlylll. Back of the Marcomani and Quadi the Marsigni, 
Cotijii, Osi and Buri close up the rear. Of these the Marsigni and 
Buri from their language and mode of life are reckoned among 
the Suebi. The Gallic speech of the Cotini and the Pannonian 
language of the Osi prove that they are not Germans, as does the 
fact that they submit to tribute. A part of this tribute is laid by 
the Quadi as upon an alien race, a part by the Sarmatians. 
What makes it a more shameful position for the Cotini is that 
they work iron mines. All these people occupy but little level 
country, but rather the forests and the summits of the mountains. 
For Suebia is divided and cut in two by a continuous mountain 
range, beyond which dwell a great many tribes. Among these 
the name of Lugii is most widely used and is spread over man}' 
states. It is sufficient to name the most powerful, the Harii 
Helveconce, Monimi, Elisii and Nahanarvali. In the land 
of these last people is found a grove sacred to an ancient 
worship over which presides a priest in female attire. But the 
gods are called according to the Roman interpretation Castor and 
Pollux. Such at least are the attributes of their divinity, though 
they use the name Alcis. 1 They have no images., nor is there 
any trace of non- German superstition, but they are venerated 
under the form of youths and brothers. The Harii, however, not 
only surpass the tribes above mentioned in strength, but fierce as 
they are, add to the effect of their innate wildness by art and 
opportunity. Their shields are black, their bodies painted. 
They choose the darkest nights for their forays, and by their very 
appearance, terrific and shadowy, they strike the terror of an 
army of spectres on their foes, who cannot sustain their strange 
and hellish aspect. For in battle it is the eye that is first van- 

XLJV. Beyond the Lugii dwell the Gotones, whose kings 
govern them at present rather more strictly than is the case with 
the other German tribes, though not yet in such a way as to over- 
power freedom. Immediately bordering on the ocean are the 

1 Whether this form is dative plural or nominative singular or plural is a 
disputed point 


Rugii and Lemovii. The round shield and short sword distinguish 
all these tribes, and they obey kings. 

Further north, in the very midst of the ocean, dwell the tribes 
of the Suiones, whose strength lies in ships as well as in men and 
arms. The form of their vessels is peculiar in this respect that 
their double prows make it possible for them to be always run 
ashore either end first. They do not employ sails, nor are the 
oars fixed to the side so as to form a regular row. As is the case 
in some rivers, the oars are loose and can be changed to any 
position as occasion demands. These people pay respect to wealth 
also, and they are therefore ruled by one man with unlimited 
power, as his claim to obedience does not rest on mere sufferance. 
Arms are not to be found in every man's hands, as among the 
other Germans, but are kept locked up in charge of a keeper, a 
mere slave, because the ocean prevents any sudden hostile inva- 
sion, while armed men with nothing to do easily get into trouble. 
And certainly it is a piece of royal policy not to place a noble or 
a free-born man, nor even a freedman, in charge of the arms. 

XLV. Beyond the Suiones is another sea, sluggish and almost 
motionless, by which the circle of the earth is believed to be 
bound and enclosed, for the reason that the last gleam of the 
setting sun lingers till sunrise so bright that the stars are dimmed. 
They would persuade us moreover that the sound of the sun at 
its rising can be heard, and the forms of his horses and the radi- 
ance about his head be seen. Up to this point only (and here 
we may believe the report) does the world extend. Therefore, to 
go back, close on the right shore of the Suebic sea the tribes of 
the Aestii are washed by its waters. Their customs and outward 
appearance are those of the Suebi, but their language is like that 
of Britain. They worship the mother of the gods, and wear as 
the symbol of their cult the figure of a wild boar. This serves 
for arms and for universal protection, and renders the votary of 
the goddess secure even among enemies. The people generally 
use clubs for weapons as iron is rare. They cultivate grain and 
other produce more perse veringly than is usual with the lazy 
Germans. But they also search the deep and are the only Ger- 
mans to hunt beneath the waves and on the shore for amber, 
which they themselves call glaesum. Being barbarians, they do 
not seek to find out what process of nature produced it. Nay, it 
even lay a long time unused among the other refuse on shore until 


our luxury gave it a value. They make no use of it. It is found 
and brought to us in rude and shapeless masses, and they wonder 
at our paying a price for it. However, it is known to be the gum 
of trees, because certain creeping and winged creatures often 
appear in it which, having been caught in these juices, were 
enclosed by them when they afterwards grew hard. As in the 
remote regions of the East there are more productive trees from 
which frankincense and balm exude, so I am disposed to believe 
that in the islands and mainland of the West there are substances 
which, acted upon by the rays of the nearby sun, flow into the 
neighboring sea and are cast up by the force of storms on the 
opposite shore. If you test the qualities of amber by putting a 
fire to it, it burns up like pine and gives a rich and fragrant flame; 
then it dissolves into a sort of pitch or resin. 

The Sitonian tribes are adjacent to the Suiones. Like the latter 
in other respects, they yet differ in one way, for they are ruled by 
a woman; so far do they fall below the condition not only of free- 
men, but even of slaves. 

XLVL Here Suebia ends. As to the Peucini, the Venedi and 
the Fenni, I am uncertain whether to count them among the Ger- 
mans or Sarmatians, although the Feucini, who are sometimes 
called Bastar?icz, resemble the Germans in their language and 
manners, and in their mode of settlement and building houses. 
They all have a filthy appearance, and indolence is a character- 
istic of their leading men. On account of intermarriage with the 
Sarmatians they are becoming somewhat degraded to their like- 
ness. The Venedi have assimilated many of the Sarmatian 
customs, for they wander in plundering bands over such forests 
and mountains as are to be found between the Feucini and the 
Fenni. Still they are rather to be reckoned among the Germans, 
for they build permanent dwellings, carry shields, and employ 
foot-soldiers in whose swiftness they place their trust. In all 
these points they differ from the Sarmatians, who live in wagons 
and on horse-back. The characteristics of the Fenni are their 
strange savagery and their sordid poverty. They have neither 
arms nor horses nor household gods. Their food is herbs, 
their garments, skins, their couch, the ground. Their only 
wealth consists of arrows, which for lack of iron they point with 
bones. Hunting furnishes food for the men and the women 
alike. The women accompany the men everywhere and lay 


claim to a portion of the prey. The children have no other pro- 
tection against storms and wild beasts than a covering formed by 
weaving the branches of trees loosely together. Hither the 
youths return from the hunt, here the old find a refuge. But 
they consider this a happier life than to sweat in the fields, to toil 
over house-building, or to traffic with their own or others' fort- 
unes in the midst of hope and fear. With nought to fear from 
gods or men, they have attained that difficult position that they 
have no wishes to gratify. From this point on all is fabulous, as 
that the Hellusii and the Oxiona have the faces and the looks of 
men, but the bodies and limbs of wild beasts, a story that I leave 
without comment, as I have no certain knowledge regarding it. 


Flavius Joseph us, born about 37, died after 100 A. D., was a Jew of a dis- 
tinguished priestly family who took part in the great uprising in Judaea 
against the Romans 66-70 A. D. He was captured by Vespasian and his 
life being spared he became the latter's client. The remainder of his life 
was spent in Rome, where he wrote a history of the late Jewish war in seven 
books, a work on Jewish antiquities in twenty books, and various minor 
works. The best edition of his writings, which were composed in Greek or 
translated into that language from the Hebrew, is that of Niese, Berlin, 1895. 
There is no satisfactory English translation, that of Whiston being almost 


Antiq.Jud. Lib. XIX. c. I. \\ 15, 17, 18. {Greek.) 
I5 * * * /p he Germans were the first to hear of Gams' 
assassination. These were the Emperor's body guard, who took 
their name from the people from whom they were recruited, and 
were known as the Celtic legion. It is their nature to yield with- 
out restraint to the passion of the moment, a trait that they share 
in common with other barbarians, who take little thought of what 
they are about to do. Of great strength and wild courage, they 
do not hesitate to begin an attack on their enemies, and wherever 
they make their onslaught they perform mighty deeds. Now 
when these heard of Gams' murder they were filled with grief, 
since they did not judge him according to his merits but by the 
benefits they had received ; for he had purchased great favor in 
their eyes by his frequent largesses. So drawing their swords 


they rushed through the palace searching for the murderers 
of the Caesar under the leadership of their tribune Sabinus, a man 
who had attained that position not through his own or his 
ancestors' merits (for he had been a gladiator), but because of his 
great bodily strength. The first man they met was Asprenas, on 
whose garments, as I have said above, the blood of the sacrificial 
offering had spurted, and so marked him out as one about to meet 
misfortune. Him they cut to pieces. The next they came upon 
was Norbanus, one of the most distinguished of the citizens, a 
man who numbered many generals among his ancestors. Since 
his rank won him no consideration, he made use of his great 
strength. Springing at the man who first attacked him, he 
wrenched the sword from him, determined to sell his life as dearly 
as possible. Finally he was surrounded by the maddened throng 
and fell pierced with many wounds. The third man was the 
senator Anteius, who fell in with the Germans, not by chance as 
the others had done, but led there by the desire of feasting his 
eyes on the lifeless corpse of Gaius in order to show his hatred. 
For the Emperor had driven the father of Anteius, who bore the 
same name, into exile, and not content with that had sent out 
soldiers to put him to death. For this reason Anteius had now 
come to enjoy the spectacle. Since, however, the palace was in 
such turmoil, he thought to conceal himself in a dark recess; but 
he did not escape the Germans, who searched every place care- 
fully and slew with equal savageness the guilty and the innocent. 
Thus perished these men. 

17. But when the German guard surrounded the theatre with 
drawn swords, the spectators all feared for their lives, and at the 
entrance of any one, whoever he might be, they began to tremble 
as though at that very instant they felt the blade at their throats. 
They were in great doubt what to do, not daring to go out and 
yet believing it very dangerous to remain longer in the theatre. 
So when the Germans finally broke into the place, the air was 
filled with their cries. They begged the soldiers for their lives, 
protesting that they were ignorant of all that had transpired, 
that they knew nothing of the plans that had been laid for 
starting an insurrection, if indeed there was an insurrection, that 
they were ignorant of all that had happened. The soldiers should, 
therefore, spare them, nor inflict the penaltx of other people's 


crimes on those who were free from all guilt. They should allow 
inquiry to be made as to who had done the deed, whatever that 
deed might be. This and much more to the same effect the crowd 
uttered, crying out and beating their breasts, weeping and calling 
on the gods as their imminent danger urged. They spoke as one 
does who is engaged in a last struggle for life. On hearing these 
outcries the fury of the soldiers was appeased and they repented 
of what they had in mind to do to the spectators; for it was a 
ghastly sight, and so seemed even to them in their wild rage, 
when the heads of Asprenas and those who had perished with 
him were placed on the altar. * * * * 

18. There was a certain man called Arruntius, a crier of goods 
and therefore of loud, sonorous voice, who in his wealth equalled 
the richest of the Romans, and who in whatever he wished had 
very great influence in the city both at that time and afterwards. 
This man having composed his countenance to grief as much as 
he was able (for, though he was the most hostile of all toward 
Gaius, he hid his feelings in order to do what fear and cunning 
suggested as necessary to his safety), assumed the garments of 
mourning as is customary on the death of a beloved friend, and 
proceeded to the theatre. Here he announced the death of Gaius, 
not suffering the crowd to remain longer in ignorance of what had 
happened. Then Arruntius made the round of the arena, 
addressing the soldiers, while their tribunes who were accom- 
panying him ordered them to sheathe their swords and confirmed 
the news of Gaius' death. This rescued from danger those who 
were assembled there in the theatre as well as all who had by any 
chance fallen into the hands of the Germans. For while they still 
cherished the hope that Gaius might yet be alive, no violence was 
too great for them to commit. So great was their devotion to 
him that they would have been content even to give up their lives 
if only the}' might have protected him from plots and treachery 
and shielded him from so grave a calamity. When they had been 
convinced, however, of Gaius' death, they immediately stilled 
their wild outbreak, not only because their devotion and eagerness 
were no longer of any profit to them since he was now dead who 
would have rewarded them, but also because they feared that if 
they continued to do injury to those about them they would fall 
under the censure of the Senate in case the administration of 
affairs fell to that body. And so at length, though with difficulty, 


was the madness that had fallen upon the Germans at the news 
of Gams' murder brought to an end. 


Ammianus Marcellinus, died subsequent to 380 A. D., was a native of 
Antioch. He was for many years an officer in the Roman army, where he 
gained considerable distinction, serving in Gaul as well as in the East. He 
was a friend and admirer of the Emperor Julian and accompanied the latter 
on his last Persian expedition. Not long after Julian's death Ammianus re- 
tired from the army and devoted himself to writing a continuation of the 
Histories of Tacitus which he called Rerum gestarum libri, extending from 
the beginning of Nerva's reign, 96 A. D., to the death of Valens, 378. The 
first thirteen books down to 353 have been lost, but the remaining eighteen 
give a very vivid picture of the rapid dissolution of the empire. This con- 
temporary account is the most valuable source for the history of the period 
that has come down to us. Gibbon on reaching the reign of Theodosius 
remarks of him, " It is not without the most sincere regret that I must now 
take leave of an accurate and faithful guide, who has composed the history 
of his own times without indulging in the prejudices and passions which 
usually affect the mind of a contemporary." Owing probably to the fact 
that Greek was his native tongue, the Latin of Ammianus is difficult to 
translate, in places being almost unintelligable. A good edition is that of 
Gardthausen, Leipzig, 1874. There is a fair translation by Yonge in the 
Bonn's series, while the portion relating to the Germans is given by Coste 
in the Geschichtsschreiber. 


Lib. XVI., xii. 20-62 {Latin). 
20. When our leaders perceived the enemy already forming 
themselves into a compact wedge, the3 r came to a halt and drew 
up the Antepilani, Hastati and Primi oi'dinum like a solid wall. 
With equal caution the wedge-shaped mass of the enemy held 
their ground. 21. And when they saw all the cavalry drawn up 
against them on our right wing just as the deserter I have pre- 
viously mentioned had told them, they placed such cavalry force 
as they had in a dense body on their left wing. Scattered 
among them were foot-soldiers, light and active men fitted for the 
work they had to do. 22. For they knew that in a fight with 
our heavy cuirassiers, protected as they are by iron plates, hold- 
ing reins and shield in one hand and wielding the spear with the 
other, their horsemen, however skillful, had no chance of success; 


but a footman in the midst even of the greatest turmoil of battle, 
while each man is paying attention only to what is immediately 
before him, can creep along unseen, stab the horse in the side, 
and bring the incautious rider to the ground where it is an easy 
matter to finish him. 23. With their forces thus disposed on the 
left, they stationed their right wing in a secret ambush. All 
these fierce and warlike peoples were led by Chonodomar and 
Serapio, who excelled the other kings in power. 24. Chonodo- 
mar indeed was the instigator of the whole nefarious war. Above 
his head waved a flaming plume of hair. Fierce in aspect and 
trusting in the mighty strength of his arm he strode up and down 
before the left wing where the hottest fighting was to be looked 
for. Splendid as a foaming war-horse he brandished a spear of 
tremendous length and was to be distinguished from the others 
by the gleam of his arms. He was known as a vigorous soldier 
and as a leader skillful beyond all his compatriots. 25. The 
right wing was led by Serapio, a youth on whose cheeks the down 
was just beginning to sprout, but of courage surpassing his years. 
He was the son of Mederich, Chonodomar' s brother, a most 
treacherous man during his lifetime. Serapio was so-called be- 
cause his father who had been held for a long time in Gaul as a 
hostage had there learned certain Greek mysteries and so changed 
his son's name from Agenarch, which he had been called at birth, 
to Serapio. 26. There followed these two leaders, according to 
rank, 5 kings, 10 princes, a long list of nobles and 35,000 armed 
men of various tribes, part of whom served for pay, part on 
account of agreements of mutual support. 

27. And now to the loud blare of the trumpets the Roman gen- 
eral Severus, who commanded the left wing, advanced close to 
the ditches filled with armed men whence the concealed enemy 
had arranged to burst suddenly out and throw everything into 
confusion. Here he fearlessly halted, for he had a suspicion of 
the ambush, and did not attempt either to fall back or to advance 
further. 28. The Caesar observed this as, unruffled by the 
greatest exertions, he moved here and there surrounded by 200 
horsemen wherever the hardest fighting demanded. Riding along 
the lines of foot soldiers at a rapid pace he exhorted them with 
encouraging words. * * * 34. Having thus encouraged his 
soldiers he drew up the greater part of the army opposite the first 
battle line of the barbarians. Then there suddenly arose among 


the footmen of the Alamanni a loud and threatening outcry in 
which they demanded with one voice that their princes should 
dismount from their horses and fight on foot with the rest, so that 
if the army were defeated they might not have an easy means of 
escape while the common people were deserted and left to their 
fate. 35. As soon as Chonodomar heard this he sprang at once 
from his steed and the others following his example hastened to 
do likewise, for not one of them doubted but that their side would 
be victorious. 36. Thereupon with a stately flourish of trumpets 
the signal to open the battle was given on both sides and the 
great mass of men rushed at each other. Missile weapons flew in 
every direction and then the Germans in feverish haste, without 
stopping for further consideration, threw themselves upon the 
ranks of our cavalry, brandishing their spears in their right hands. 
With terrible outcries they came on, their bristling hair as it 
flowed in the wind making their appearance more savage than 
ever, and the fury of battle gleaming in their eyes. Our soldiers 
on the other hand stood firm holding their shields to protect them- 
selves against the attack, and drawing their swords or shaking 
their spears they threatened death to the enemy. 37. In the very 
midst of the onset the cavalry bravely assumed squadron forma- 
tion, while the foot guarded their own flanks with firmness and 
protected their front by a wall of shields in a way that showed 
their careful training. The dust arose in thick clouds as the 
struggling masses now resisting, now giving way, swayed here 
and there. Some of the barbarians, the most expert of their 
warriors, knelt down and sought to receive the attack of the 
enemy in this way, but the mighty rush of men bore them on to a 
hand to hand encounter. Shield smote against shield and the 
welkin rang with the exultant shouts of the conquering and the 
groans of the fallen. Our left pushing forward had by its fierce 
onslaught forced back the German lines and was advancing with 
loud shouts against the barbarians, when the cavalry who held 
the right wing were seen, contrary to all expectation, to be re- 
treating in confusion, the first ranks falling back and throwing 
those behind into disorder, until they finally reformed behind the 
center of the legions and renewed the battle. 38. This panic was 
due to the fact that the cuirassiers while their lines were being 
arranged for the attack had their leader slightly wounded and 
also perceived one of their number overcome by the weight of his 


armor fall over the neck of his horse. This threw them into a 
panic, and fleeing in every direction they trampled on the foot- 
soldiers and would have thrown everything into confusion had 
not these closed up and stood firm in a compact body. When the 
Caesar saw the cavalry intent on nothing but safety, he spurred 
his horse to meet them and checked their flight. 39. He was 
recognized by the purple dragon-flag floating from the point of a 
long lance, which looked like the skin of an actual dragon. The 
tribune of one of the squadrons seeing this, halted in fear and 
trembling and turning galloped back to reform the line. 40. As 
he was accustomed to do in such crises the Caesar upbraided 
them though not harshly and rallied the troops. * * * * 

42. The Alamanni having thus defeated and driven back our 
cavalry rushed upon the first line of the infantry, thinking to 
overwhelm it without much resistance. 43. It came to hand-to- 
hand fighting and for a long time the battle raged without de- 
cisive results. For our Cornuti and Bracchiati, approved veterans 
of many a battle, already terrifying enough in aspect, raised their 
awful barritum or war-cry, which, rising in the fury of battle, 
increases gradually from a low growling sound till it rolls like 
the dashing of mighty waves on a rock-bound coast. Here and 
there flew the whizzing javelins till the air was thick with them, 
and the dust rose in clouds hiding everything from view. Sword 
clashed with sword and breast pressed against breast. 44. In 
blind wrath the wild and disorderly mob of barbarians threw 
themselves on the close-bound wall of shields that protected our 
men in the form of a testudo, and hewed their way through it with 
tremendous sword-strokes. 45. When they perceived this our 
allies, the Batavians, led by their kings, came on a run to the aid 
of their companions, chanting theirfierce war-song. They were a 
formidable body of troops fitted to snatch victory from the very 
jaws of defeat, and the contest went on with renewed vigor. 46. 
But the Alamanni dashed headlong into the fight with fury 
gleaming in their faces, threatening to annihilate whatever was 
opposed to them. Darts and javelins and iron-pointed arrows 
filled the air, and now at close quarters the sword was drawn and 
corselet and breast-plate gave forth the life-blood of the soldiers 
as the keen blades pierced them. Even the wounded who had 
any strength remaining raised themselves from the ground and 
continued the contest. 47. The two sides were about evenly 


matched, the Alamanni being robust and of great stature, our 
men trained in the use of arms ; they wild and violent, ours cool 
and cautious ; the barbarians trusting in their overwhelming 
strength of body, the Roman troops in their courage. 48. 
Wherever a Roman, embarrassed by the weight of his armor, was 
driven back he sought to regain the lost ground ; and when a 
barbarian became exhausted he sank down on his left knee and 
during the pause taunted and reviled his enemy, — truly a sign of 
the utmost temerity. 49. And now from the ranks of the Ger- 
mans there came suddenly bounding forward an eager band of 
nobles among whom were to be seen even kings, and followed 
by the crowd they broke through our lines and hewed their way 
clear to the legion of the Primarii w r ho occupied the very key of 
our position at the center of the camp known as the castra 
praetoria. Here our close-packed ranks taking heart rallied and 
stood firm as a tower. They fought with skill, carefully protect- 
ing themselves from wounds after the manner of the Gallic 
gladiators, while the barbarians, who in the wild rage and mad- 
ness of battle recklessly exposed their naked bodies, fell in great 
numbers by our swords. 

50. In their invincible determination to break through the 
living bulwark of our lines they threw away their lives without 
an instant's hesitation. The dead lay in serried ranks beneath 
the blows of the Romans, who had now recovered spirit, but their 
places were filled at once by the survivors, though the groans of 
the dying filled them with horror. 51. At last overcome by their 
exertions and their losses they thought only of escape and fled in 
panic through the various paths and by-ways, just as sailors 
driven about by winds on the sea seek safety from the storm. 
But any one who was present might have seen that safety was 
something they were more likely to hope for than to attain. * * * 

58. While these events were transpiring King Chonodomar 
found an opportunity to escape through the heaps of the slain 
and hastened with a few followers to.vards the camp which he 
had had the temerity to establish between the Roman towns of 
Tribunci and Concordia. Here he had concealed boats by means 
of which he had planned to escape across the river in case of such 
a misfortune as this. 59. Since he must cross the Rhine in order 
to get back to his own kingdom, he withdrew slowly from the 
battlefield, concealing his face that he might not be recognized. 


When he was near the banks, as he was skirting a swampy place 
so as to come to the crossing, his horse slipped in the soft ground 
and threw him. As fast as his great weight permitted he 
hastened to the protection of a neighboring hill. Being recog- 
nized by the insignia of his rank, a tribune who had followed him 
closely with a cohort of troops immediately surrounded the hill, 
which was wooded, and arranged his men so as to make it impos- 
sible for any one to escape through the undergrowth. 60. Seeing 
this Chonodomar overcome by despair came forth and gave him- 
self up. With him were his 200 followers, among them three 
sworn blood-friends to whom it was considered an eternal dis- 
grace to survive their king or not to die for him if the occasion 
demanded it. These also surrendered themselves as conquered 
men. 61. And so, as is the nature of barbarians, who are humble 
in misfortune, haughty in success, the king was dragged along, 
the slave of another's will. Pallid with fear, his mouth closed by 
the knowledge of his crimes, how different a man was he from 
that one whose deeds had filled Gaul with sorrow and terror, and 
who had threatened the land with fire and swordi 

Liber XXVIII., v., 1-9. 

1. In the third consulate of the Emperor Valentinian a large 
band of Saxons came over the ocean and made an attack on the 
Roman boundary wall, laying waste the country with fire and 
sword. The first shock of this invasion was borne by Count 
Nannenus, the commander in that region, a careful and exper- 
ienced veteran. 2. But he had to do with a people who knew 
not the fear of death, and after he had iost a number of soldiers 
and had been himself wounded he had to admit himself unequal 
to carrying on the continuous strife. The Emperor having been 
informed of his necessity, Severus, the magister peditum, was 
allowed to come to his assistance. 3. When he arrived with a 
force sufficient for the occasion and had drawn his troops up for 
battle the barbarians were so terrified that they did not dare risk 
an engagement, but awed by the splendor of the eagles and the 
battle standards, they sued for peace. 4. Since this seemed to be 
for the best interests of the state, a treaty was agreed upon after a 
long discussion, whereby the Saxons were to furnish a large 
contingent of their warlike youth to serve under our standards 


while the remainder were allowed to depart, though without any 
plunder, and return whence they had come. 5. And when their 
minds were now relieved of all anxiety and they were preparing 
to set out for home, a force of infantry was sent forward and 
quietly placed in ambush in a certain deep valley from which they 
were to make an attack on the barbarians as the latter passed by 
and so destroy them, as it was supposed, without difficulty. But 
it turned out very differently from what was hoped. 6. For at the 
noise of their approach certain of the Romans in their excitement 
sprang forth too quickly, and no sooner were they seen than the 
barbarians with fearful whoops and yells made for them and 
overthrew them before they could form to resist the attack. Still 
our men drew quickly together in a circle and held their ground 
with the courage of despair. Many however were killed, and 
they would certainly have fallen to the last man had not the 
tumult been heard by a squadron of our heavy cuirassiers 
similarly placed at a fork of the road to attack the passing 
barbarians from the other side. These hastened to the rescue. 
7. Then the battle raged fiercely. The Romans with renewed 
courage rushed in on all sides, surrounded the enemy and cut 
them down with the sword. None of them ever saw again their 
native home. Not even a single one was allowed to survive the 
slaughter of his comrades. An upright judge might accuse us of 
baseness and perfidy in this affair, yet when one thinks the 
matter over one must admit that it was a just fate for a band of 
robbers to be thus destroyed when the opportunity was given us. 
8. Though this affair had been so happily carried out, Valen- 
tinian continued to feel much anxiety and solicitude, turning 
over many projects in his mind and planning with what strata- 
gems he might break the pride of the Alamanni and their king 
Macrian, whose restlessness was bringing endless disturbance to 
the Roman state. 9. For the remarkable thing about this people 
is that however great their losses through various causes from 
the very beginning on, yet they increase so fast that one would 
think that they had remained undisturbed for many ages. 
Finally after considering various plans it seemed best to the 
Emperor to weaken them by stirring up against them the Bur- 
gundians, a warlike people whose flourishing condition was due to 
the immense number of their young men, and who were therefore 
to be feared by all their neighbors. 

Translations and Reprints 

from the; 





Introduction 2 

Register of Dignitaries in the Hast 3 

The pretorian prefects of the East and of Illyricum 5,7 

The masters of soldiery in the presence and in the East 8, 10 

The provost of the sacred bedchamber 10 

The master of the offices 11 

The quaestor 12 

The counts of the sacred bounties and of the private domain ... 12, 13 

The counts of the household horse and foot . 14 

The castellan 14 

The chief of the notaries and the masters of bureaus 15 

The proconsul of Asia and the Augustal prefect 16 

The vicar of the diocese of Asia 17 

The count of the Egyptian frontier 17 

The duke of Scythia and the consular of Palestine ....... 19 

The president of Thebais '. 20 

Register of Dignitaries in the West 20 

The pretorian prefects of Italy and of the Gauls 22, 23 

The prefect of the city of Rome 24 

The masters of foot and of horse in the presence 25 

Distribution of forces 26 

The master of the offices and his Insignia {Illustration) 28 

The quaestor 30 

The counts of the sacred bounties and of the private domain . . 30, 33 

The counts of the household horse and foot 35 

The castellan, chief of the notaries, and masters of bureaus ... 35 

The proconsul of Africa and the vicar of the city of Rome .... 36 

The vicars of the Seven Provinces and of the Britains 37 

The count of Tingitania and the duke of the Armorican Tract . . 38 

The consular of Campania and the corrector of Apulia 39 

The president of Dalmatia 40 

Bibliographical Note 40 



The Notitia Dignitatum is an official register of all the offices, other 
than municipal, which existed in the Roman Empire. It suggests our 
Statesman's Year-book and other such publications. But this register was 
official, prepared, as will be seen, hy the " chief of the notaries " in the East 
and West respectively. (See pp. 15, 35.) It differs from its modern repre- 
sentatives in that it gives only the offices, and not in any case the name of 
the incumbent. Gibbon gave to this document a date between 395 and 407, 
when the Vandals disturbed the Roman regime in Gaul. Bury, following 
Hodgkin (Italy and her Invaders, Vol. I, p. 717), thinks that 402 is the 
probable date from the fact that the twentieth legion which was in that year 
transferred from Britain to Italy is not mentioned as being in either of 
these divisions of the empire. But Dr. Otto Seeck (in Hermes, Vol. XI, 
pp. 71-78) finds some conditions, principally in the disposition of troops, 
which could be true only of a time before the battle of Adrian ople (378), 
and others which are as late as 427. He infers that the Notitia was drawn 
up as early as the time of Valens, and corrected from year to year here and 
there, while left in many parts unchanged; and that, therefore, it does not 
give the exact military status at any one time. 

The text comes to us through four manuscripts, now at Oxford, Paris, 
Vienna and Munich respectively. The last named is of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, the other three of the fifteenth. The four are exact copies, even in 
form, of a manuscript once preserved at Spires, but lost in the latter part of 
the sixteenth century. This Spires manuscript contained several other doc- 
uments besides the Notitia Dignitatum, one of them known to be of the 
year 825. Thus the earliest possible date for the Spires MS. is fixed, and its 
palseographic form, reproduced in the four copies mentioned, shows that it 
was written not later than the eleventh century. 

The Notitia Dignitatum has preserved for us, as no other document has 
done, a complete outline view of the Roman administrative system in the 
early fifth century. The hierarchic arrangement is displayed perfectly. 
The division of prefectures, dioceses and provinces, and the rank of their 
respective governors is set forth at length. The niilitary origin of the whole 
system appears in the titles of the staff officers, even in those departments 
whose heads had, since the time of Constantine, been deprived of all mili- 
tary command. 

Prefixed to the accounts of some eighty-seven of the chief offices are their 
insignia. These were probably emblazoned on the codicils, or commissions, 
of these officers, and they are illustrative of the dignities and duties of those 
to whom they were assigned. Those of the pretorian prefects display a 
book of mandates reposing on a richly covered table, and flanked by four 
tapers; also the four-horse chariot and a pillar with the portrait of the em- 
peror or emperors. The insignia of military commanders show the distinct- 
ive shields of the several bodies of troops under them. The insignia of the 
master of the offices in the West are reproduced on p. 28. 


This translation gives practically everything of prime importance in the 
text. The spheres of work and the staffs of the chief officials have been 
given in full. Omissions are always indicated in the translation, as where 
lists of troops, after a few illustrative examples, are summarized, without 
giving the names and locations of the various organizations. From the list 
of minor officials, of whom there are a considerable number of the same 
rank, one has been selected as typical of the rest, as, e. g., one duke, one 
count, one consular, in each half of the empire. 

The matter of translation was somewhat difficult, owing to the lack of 
precedents, especially in the case of the staff officers. The lexicons for the 
most part say of any one of these designations that it was "the title of a 
high official of the later empire." This is true, but not sufficient for the 
purposes of this book. A careful study of the functions of these officials, as 
disclosed in the Theodosian Code, and as commented on by Bocking (see 
bibliography), has made possible a more exact, if somewhat arbitrary, ren- 
dering. An English word which fully expresses the Roman function is, in 
many cases, hard to find. Sometimes the translation is only approximate, 
and requires a note. In general, the effort is made to retain the Roman 
flavor of the original, and not to translate the official terms of the empire by 
modern ones which might convey a false implication. For instance, it has 
been thought better to say "count of the sacred, bounties" rather than 
"chancellor of the exchequer," or "grand treasurer;" and "provost of the 
sacred bedchamber" rather than "grand chamberlain." 

Brackets, [ ], enclose words not in the original. 



The pretorian prefect of the East. 

The pretorian prefect of Illyricum. 

The prefect of the city of Constantinople. 

Two masters of horse and foot in the presence. 

[The master] of horse and foot in the East. 

[The master] of horse and foot in Thrace. 

[The master] of horse and foot in Illyricum. 

The provost of the sacred bedchamber. 

The master of the offices. 

The quaestor. 

The count of the sacred bounties. 

The count of the private domains. 

Two counts of the household troops: 

of horse, 

of foot. 


The superintendent of the sacred bedchamber. 
The chief of the notaries. 
The castellan of the sacred palace. 
The masters of bureaus: 
of memorials, 
of correspondence, 
of requests, 
of Greek [versions]. 
Two proconsuls: 

of Asia; of Achaia. 
The count of the East. 
The Augustal prefect. 
Four vicars: 

of [the diocese of] Asia; of [the diocese of] Pontus; of [the 
diocese of] the Thraces; of [the diocese of] Macedonia. 
Two military counts: 

of Kg'ypt; of Isauria. 
Thirteen dukes: 

in [the diocese of] Egypt two: 
of the Eibyas; of Thebais. 
in [the diocese of] the East six: 

of Phcenice; of Euphratensis and Syria; of Palestine; 
of Osroena; of Mesopotamia; of Arabia, 
in [the diocese of] Pontus one: 

of Armenia. 
in [the diocese of] Thrace two: 

of Mcesia secunda; of Scythia. 
in [the diocese of] Illyricuin two: 

of ripuarian Dacia; of Mcesia prima. 
Fifteen consulars: 

in [the diocese of] the East five: 

of Palestine; of Phcenice; of Syria; of Cilicia; of Cyprus, 
in [the diocese of] Asia three: 

of Pamphylia; of Hellespontus; of L,ydia. 
in [the diocese of] Pontus two: 

of Galatia; of Bithynia. 
in [the di< cese of] Thrace two: 

of Europe; of Thrace, 
in [the die cese of] Illyricum three: 

of Crete; of Macedonia; of Mediterranean Dacia. 


Egypt, however, does not possess the consular dignity. 

Forty presidents: 

in [the diocese of] Egypt five: 

of upper Lybia; of lower Lybia; of Thebais; of Egypt; 
of Arcadia, 
in [the diocese of] the East eight: 

of Palaestina salutaris; of Palsestina secunda; of 
Phcenice Libani; of Euphratensis; of Syria salutaris; 
of Osroena; of Mesopotamia; of Cilicia secunda. 
in [the diocese of] Asia seven: 

of Pisidia; of Lycaonia; of Phrygia Pacatiana; of 
Phrygia salutaris; of Lycia; of Caria; of the Islands, 
in [the diocese of] Pontus eight: 

of Honorias; of Cappadocia prima; of Cappadocia 
secunda; of Helenopontus; of Pontus Polemoniacus; 
of Armenia prima; of Armenia secunda; of Galatia 
in [the diocese of] Thrace four: 

of Hsemimontus; of Rhodope; of Mcesia secunda; of 
in [the diocese of] Illyricum eight: 

of Thessalia; of ancient Epirus; of new Epirus; of 
ripuarian Dacia; of Mcesia prima; of Prsevalitana; 
of Dardania; of Macedonia salutaris. 
Two correctors: 

of Augustamnica; of Paphlagonia. 



Under the control of the illustrious 1 pretorian prefect of the 
East are the dioceses below mentioned: 

of the East; of Egypt; of Asia; of Pontus; of Thrace. 

l Kach of the great officials of the empire at this time was dignified arid 
graded by one of three titles: illustris, " illustrious;" spectabilis, " worship- 
ful;" clarissimus, "right honorable." The first of these titles is the high- 
est. A study of the Notitia will show the bearers of the respective titles. 
In general, it may be said that the illustrious correspond in rank to our 
cabinet officers, the worshipful to our State governors and highest military 
officers, and the right honorable to our brigadier-generals and colonels. See 
the. references to Gibbon, Bury and Hodgkin in the bibliography, p. 40. 



of [the diocese of] the East fifteen: 

Palestine; Phcenice; Syria; Cilicia; Cyprus; Arabia 
(also a duke and a military count); Isauria; Palses- 
tina salutaris; Palaestina secunda; Phcenice L,ibani; 
Euphratensis; Syria salutaris; Osroena; Mesopo- 
tamia; Cilicia secunda. 
of [the diocese of] Egypt five: 

upper Libya; lower Libya; Thebais; Egypt; Arcadia, 
of [the diocese of] Asia ten: 

Pamphylia; Hellespontus; Eydia; Pisidia; Lycaonia; 
Phrygia Pacatiana; Phrygia salutaris; Lycia; Caria; 
the Islands. 
of [the diocese of] Pontus ten: 

Galatia; Bithynia; Honorias; Cappadocia prima; Cap- 
padocia secunda; Pontus Polemoniacus; Heleno- 
pontus; Armenia prima; Armenia secunda; Galatia 
of [the diocese of] Thrace six: 

Europa; Thracia; Hsemimontus; Rhodopa; Mcesia 
secunda; Scythia. 
The staff 1 of the illustrious pretorian prefect of the East: 
A chief of staff, {princeps) 

A chief deputy, (corniculariiis) 

1 The dozen officers or types of officers here indicated were the heads of 
departments under the pretorian prefect. All the other officio, or staffs were 
on a similar model. These officials belonged to the political aristocracy. 
The whole number of officers might run into the hundreds, besides large 
numbers of slaves who did the drudgery. The count of the East had 600 
officials; the proconsul of Africa, 400; the vicar of Africa, 300; the count of 
the sacred bounties, 224 regular assistants and 610 supernumeraries. The 
beginning of a civil service career under the pretorian prefect for a Roman 
gentleman, after a training in the law, was the post of "treasury advocate," 
of whom we are told that there were at one time 150 under a single prefect. 

The officials named in the text received high salaries. After working 
through to the highest staff position, which was commonly held for either 
one or two years, they were eligible for the lower governorships, as presi- 
dents or correctors, and so on till the highest stations were reached. 

The Latin titles have been given to make it clear that the translation can- 
not be an exact equivalent for the terms in use under a system so different 
from anything now in existence. 


A chief assistant, (adiutor) 

A custodian, (commentariensis) 

A keeper of the records, {ab actis) 

Receivers of taxes, {numerarW) 

Assistants, (siibadiuua) 

A curator of correspondence, (cura epistolarum) 
A registrar, {regerendarius) 

Secretaries, {exceptores) 

Aids, (adiutores) 

Notaries. (singularii) 

The pretorian prefect of the East does not receive post-warrants 1 
for each year, but himself issues them. 



Under the control of the illustrious pretorian prefect of Illyricum 
are the dioceses mentioned below: 
of Macedonia; of Dacia. 
The provinces of Macedonia are six: 

Achaia; Macedonia; Crete; Thessaly; ancient Kpirus; 
new Epirus; and a part of Macedonia salutaris. 
The provinces of Dacia are five: 

Mediterranean Dacia; ripuarian Dacia; Mcesia prima; 
Dardania; Prsevalitana; and part of Macedonia 
The staff of the illustrious pretorian prefect of Illyricum: 
A chief of staff, 
A chief deputy, 
A chief assistant, 
A custodian, 
A keeper of the records, 

Four receivers of taxes; one of these for gold; another for 

1 The cursus publicus was the post-service for the conveyance of govern- 
ment dispatches and of government officials. It was elaborately organized 
and very effective. Its control was in the hands of the pretorian prefects 
and the masters of the offices. Other officers were limited in their use of 
this service, as the last paragraph of each chapter in the Notiiia of the East 
shows. There is no reference to this service in the Notitia of the West, 
though there is no reason to doubt that the regulations there were similar. 


An assistant, 

A curator of correspondence, 
A registrar, 
The pretorian prefect of Illyricum himself issues [post- warrants]. 



[The text is wanting.] 



Under the control of the illustrious master of the soldiery in the 
presence: x 

Five squadrons of palatine horse: 
The senior promoted horse, 
The companion cuirassiers, 

1 For the organization and strength of the army at this period see Bury's 
Gibbon, Vol. II, App. 12. A summary of his statements, embodying the 
results of Mommsen's study, is here given: 

A. Organization. 

I. The borderers (limitanei, ripenses) were stationed on the frontiers and 
served as cultivators of lands allotted to them as well as soldiers. 

{legions: old, 6,000 men; new, 1,000. 
auxilia: 500 men. 
cohorts: 500 men. 
Cavalry: squadrons {cunei equitum, equites, alae)\ 500 men. 

II. Imperial troops. 

{Infantry, legions; 1,000 men. 
Cavalry, squadrons {vexillationes)\ 
500 men. 

b. Troops of the second line (pseudo-comitatenses) . 

c. Palatine troops, of higher rank and pay than the line. 

d. The 12 schools, of 500 men each; palace guards. 

B. Strength. Total. 

Borderers: | Infantr >' : 2 ^°° 

<- Cavalry: 110,500 360,000 

Imperial: I Infantr r- '43,000 

I Cavalry: 46,500 194,500 



The junior companion archers, 

The companion Taifalians, 

The Arcadian horse. 
Seven squadrons of horse of the line: 

The Biturigensian cuirassiers, 

The senior Gallican heavy-armed horse, 

The fifth Dalmatian horse, 

The ninth Dalmatian horse, 

The first shield-bearers, 

The junior promoted horse, 

The first Parthian cuirassiers. 
Six palatine legions: 

The senior lancers, 

The junior Jovians, 

The junior Herculians, 

The Fortenses, 

The Nervii, 

The junior Matiarii. 
Eighteen palatine auxilia : 

The senior Batavians, 

The junior Brachiati, 

The Salians, 

The Constantians, 

The senior Mattiaci, 

The senior Gallican archers, 

The junior Gallican archers, 

The third Valens' archers, 

The Defenders, 

The Raetobarii, 

The Anglevarii, 

The Hiberi, 

The Visi, 

The fortunate junior Honorians, 

The Victors, 

The first Theodosians, 

The third Theodosians, 

The fortunate Isaurian Theodosians. 
The staff of the aforesaid office of the master in the presence is 
[made up from officers] enrolled with the forces and assigned to 
staff duty. 


It includes the officers below mentioned: 
A chief of staff, 
Two accountants (numerarii), 
A custodian, 

Chief clerks (pri?ntscrimos), who become accountants, 

Secretaries and other attendants (apparitores) . 
The master of the soldiery in the presence is entitled to fifteen 
post-warrants in the year. 



Under the control of the illustrious master of the soldiery in 
the East: 

Ten squadrons of horse of the line.* 
Two palatine auxilia* 
Nine legions of the line.* 
Eleven legions of the secondary line.* 
The staff of the master's office in the East is considered per- 

It includes the officers below mentioned: 
A chief of staff, 
Two accountants, 
A custodian, 
A chief assistant, 

Quartermasters (mensores), 
Secretaries and other attendants. 
The master of the soldiery in the East is entitled to twenty-five 
post- warrants in the year. 



Under the control of the illustrious provost of the sacred bed- 

The imperial estate (do?nus divina) in Cappadocia. 

* Enumeration omitted. 


thf; master of the offices. 
Under the control of the illustrious master of the offices: 
The first school x of shield-bearers, 
The second school of shield-bearers, 
The school of senior gentiles,' 2 
The school of shield- and bow-bearers, 
The school of mailed shield-bearers, 
The junior light-armed school, 
The school of junior gentiles, 
The school of confidential agents {agentes in rebus 3 ) and 

those assigned from the same school, 
The surveyors and lamp-makers, 
The bureau of memorials, 
The bureau of correspondence, 
The bureau of requests, 
The bureau of assignments (disposiHones), 
The staff of ushers, 
The arsenals below mentioned: 

of [the diocese of] the East five: 

of shields and weapons, at Damascus, 
of shields and weapons, at Antioch, 
of mail, at Antioch, 
of shields and equipment, at Edesa, 
of spears, at Irenopolis in Cilicia. 
of [the diocese of] Pontus three: 

of cuirasses, at Caesaraea in Cappadocia, 
of shields and weapons, at Nicomedia, 
of cuirasses, at Nicomedia. 
of [the diocese of] Asia one: 

of shields and weapons, at Sardis in I,ydia. 

l So called from their attending in the schola, or hall of the palace. 

a A word of no religious import, but pointing only to the origin of this 
school from one social class of certain Scythian peoples who were living in 
a federate relation to the empire. 

8 Agentes in rebus, a class of highly paid civil agents, who were designed 
to keep the central government in touch with its various branches. From 
them were chosen, as will frequently appear, the higher staff officials, who 
not only served their superiors, but watched them in the interests of the 
court. There were 1,174 of them in the time of Theodosius II. 


of [the diocese of] the two Thraces (one of the diocese 
of Asia): 
of shields and weapons, at Hadrianopolis of Haem- 

of shields and weapons, at Marcianopolis (in the 
two Thraces). 
of [the diocese of] Illyricum four: 
at Thessalonica, 
at Naissus, 
at Ratiaria, 

of shields at Horreomargi. 
The staff of the aforesaid illustrious master of the offices is 
made up from the school of confidential agents as follows: 
A chief assistant, 
two aids, 

three for the arsenals, 
four for the embroiderers in gold: 

for the diocese of the East one, for the diocese of 
Asia one, for the diocese of Pontus one, for the 
diocese of the Thraces and Illyricum one. 
An inspector of the public post in the presence, 
Inspectors for all the provinces, 
Interpreters for various peoples. 
The master of the offices himself issues post- warrants. 



Under the control of the illustrious quaestor: 
The formulation of laws, 
The formulation of petitions. 
The quaestor does not have a staff, but such assistants from the 
bureaus as he may wish. 



Under the control of the illustrious count of the sacred bounties: 
The counts of the bounties in all the dioceses, 
The counts of the markets: 

in the East and Egypt, 

in Mcesia, Scythia and Pontus, 


in Illyricum. 

The provosts of the store-houses, 

The counts of the metals in Illyricum, 

The count and the accountant of the general tribute of 

The accountants of the general tribute, 

The masters of the linen vesture, 

The masters of the private vesture, 

The procurators of the weaving-houses, 

The procurators of the dye-houses, 

The procurators of the mints, 

The provosts of the goods despatch, 

The procurators of the linen- weavers. 
The staff of the aforesaid count of the sacred bounties includes: 

The chief clerk of the whole staff, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of fixed taxes, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of records, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of accounts, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of gold bullion, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of gold for shipment, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of the sacred wardrobe, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of silver, 

The chief clerk of the bureau of miliarensia, 1 

The chief clerk of the bureau of coinage and other clerks 
of the above-mentioned bureaus, 

A deputy chief clerk of the staff, who is chief clerk of the 

A sub- deputy chief clerk, who deals with the goods de- 

A fourth clerk who deals with requests, and other palatine 
[officials] of the aforesaid staff. 
The count of the bounties is entitled to as many post warrants 
in the year as his occasions may require. 



Under the control of the illustrious count of the private domain: 
The imperial estates, 

*A silver coin, worth about 22 cents under Constantine and 26 under 


The accountants of the private domain, 

The private baggage train, 

The provosts of the herds 1 and stables, 

The procurators of the pastures. 
The staff of the aforesaid illustrious count of the private domain: 

A chief clerk of the whole staff, 

A chief clerk of remitted taxes, 

A chief clerk of the fixed taxes, 

A chief clerk of receipts, 2 

A chief clerk of the bureau of private bounties, and other 
clerks of the aforesaid bureaus, 

A deputy chief clerk of the whole staff, who has charge of 
the documents of that staff, and other palatine [officials]. 
The count of the private domain is entitled to as many post- 
warrants in the year as his occasions may require. 




Under the control of the illustrious counts of the household 
horse and foot: 

The household horse, 
The household foot, 

and those of them deputized [on special missions]. 

The count of the household horse is entitled to . 

The count of the household foot is entitled to . 



[The text is wanting.] 


Under the control of the worshipful 3 castellan: 
The pages, 
The imperial household servants, 

1 Of horses. 
* For taxes paid. 

'The first instance in this book of the second grade of official nobility. 
See note I, p. 5. 


The custodians of the palaces. 
The staff of the worshipful castellan aforesaid includes: 
An imperial accountant, 
An accountant for the imperial Augustse, 
An assistant, 

A record-keeper and his bureau, and other palatine [offi- 
cials] of the aforesaid staff. 



Under the control of the worshipful chief of the notaries: 

The registry of all the official and administrative positions, 

both military and civil, 
He also has charge of the schools and the forces. 1 
He does not have a staff, but an assistant from the school of 
the notaries. 



The master of the bureau of memorials 

formulates and issues all rescripts, and responds to 
The master of the bureau of correspondence 

deals with deputations from states, consultations* and 
The master of the bureau of requests 

deals with the hearing of cases and petitions. 
The master of the bureau of Greek correspondence 

either himself formulates those letters which are usually 
issued in Greek, or when they have been formulated 
in L,atin translates them into Greek. 
No one of these has a staff of his own, but assistants chosen 
from the bureaus. 

1 He seems to have kept the records, if not to have controlled the disposi- 
tion, of the troops in the various provinces, and to have issued the commis- 
sions of the higher military officers. The register of these is called the 
"greater" or "superior" register. See note I, p. iS. 

2 References to the imperial authority of questions on which provincial 
magistrates were in doubt: appeals from judges rather than against them. 




Under the control of the worshipful proconsul of Asia are the 
provinces mentioned below: 


The Islands, 

His staff is as follows: 

A chief of the same staff, 

A chief deputy, 

A chief assistant, 

A custodian, 

A keeper of the records, 

Receivers of taxes, 


A receiver of requests, 

Secretaries and other officials. 
The proconsul of Asia is entitled to . 



Under the control of the worshipful Augustal prefect are the 
provinces mentioned below: 

Lybia superior, 

Lybia inferior, 




His staff is as follows: 

A chief of staff from the school of confidential agents of 
the first class, who at the close of two years' service, 
after adoring the imperial clemency, goes forth with in- 
signia. 1 

A chief deputy, 

A custodian, 

^hat is, advanced to such rank, consular or proconsular, as carries with 
it the privilege of insignia of office. Consular rank was attainable by those 
who did not become actual consuls. 


A quaestor, 
An assistant, 
A keeper of the records, 
Receivers of taxes, 
A curator of correspondence, 
Secretaries and other attendants. 
The Augustal prefect is entitled to - 



Under the control of the worshipful vicar of the diocese of Asia 
are the provinces mentioned below: 

Phrygia Pacatiana, 
Phrygia salutaris. 
The staff of the worshipful vicar of the diocese of Asia is as 

A chief of staff from the school of confidential agents of 
the first class, who at the close of two years' service, 
after adoring the imperial clemency, goes forth with in- 
A chief deputy, 
A custodian, 
An assistant, 
A keeper of the records, 
Receivers of taxes, 
A curator of correspondence, 
Secretaries and other officials. 
The vicar of the diocese of Asia is entitled to . 



Under the control of the worshipful milita^ count of Egypt: 
The fifth Macedonian legion, at Memphis, 
The thirteenth twin legion, at Babylon, 


The Stablesian horse, at Pelusium, 

The Saracen Thamudene horse, at Scense Veteranorum, 

The third Diocletiana legion, at Andropolis, 

The second Trajana legion, at Parembole, 

The Theodosian squadron, recently organized, 

The Arcadian squadron, recently organized, 

The second squadron of Armenians, in the lesser Oasis. 

And these which are assigned from the lesser register: 1 
The third squadron of Arabs, at Thenenuthis, 
The eighth squadron of Vandals, at Nee, 
The seventh squadron of Sarmatians, at Scenae Mandrorum, 
The first squadron of Egyptians, at Selle, 
The veteran squadron of Gauls, at Rinocoruna, 
The first Herculian squadron, at Scense without Gerasa, 
The fifth squadron of Raetians, at Scenae Veteranorum, 
The first Tangiers squadron, at Thinunepsi, 
The Aprian squadron, at Hipponos, 
The second squadron of Assyrians, at Sosteos, 
The fifth squadron of Prczlerti, at Dionysias, 
The third cohort of Galatians, at Cefro, 
The second cohort of Asturians, at Busiris. 

Of the province of Augustamnica: 

The second Ulpian squadron of Africans, at Thaubastos, 
The second squadron of Egyptians, at Tacasiria, 
The first cohort of archers, at Naithu, 
The first Augustan cohort of Pannonians, at Tohu, 
The first cohort of Epirotes, at Castra Judaeorum, 
The fourth cohort of Juthungians, at Aphrcditopolis, 
The second cohort of Ituraeans, at Aiy, 
The second cohort of Thracians, at Muson, 
The fourth cohort of Numidiaiis, at Narmunthi. 

The staff is as follows: 

A chief of staff from the school of confidential agents of the 
first class, who, after adoring the imperial clemency, 
goes forth with insignia. 

*The "lesser register" was the list of lower military officers and their 
commands, which was in charge sometimes of the quaestor and sometimes 
of the bureau of memorials, under the master of the offices. See note i, 
p. 15. 


Receivers of taxes, 
A custodian, 
An assistant, 

A receiver of requests, or under- secretary, 
Secretaries and other officials. 
The count of Egypt is entitled to seven post-warrants in the year. 



Under the control of the worshipful duke of Scythia: 
[Seven squadrons of cavalry.] * 

[Eight organizations.] * 
Legions of borderers: 

[Seven organizations.]* 
His staff is as follows: 

A chief of staff, who at the end of his term of service pays 

adoration as a protector, 1 
Accountants and their assistants, 
A custodian, 
An assistant, 

A receiver of requests, or under-secretary, 
Secretaries and other officials. 
The duke of Scythia is entitled to five post-warrants in the year. 



Under the control of the right honorable 2 consular of Palestine: 

The province of Palestine. 
His staff is as follows: 

A chief of staff, 

* Enumeration omitted. 

x This "adoration " was equivalent to a modern presentation at court. A 
"protector" was a highly-privileged member of the imperial body-guard. 
See Bury's Gibbon, Vol. II, App. 13. To "adore as protector" was to be 
admitted either to this body-guard or to a rank equivalent to it in the nicely- 
graded scale of precedence. 

2 Consulars, correctors, and most presidents were darissimi, "right honor- 


A chief deputy, 
A custodian, 
A chief assistant, 
A receiver of taxes, 
A keeper of the records, 
A receiver of requests, 

Secretaries and other cohortalini?- who are not allowed to 
pass to another service without a warrant from the im- 
perial clemency. 
All the other consulars have a staff similar to that of the con- 
sular of Palestine. 



Under the control of the right honorable president of Thebais: 

The province of Thebais. 
The staff is as follows: 

[Precisely as in preceding section.] 
All the other presidents have a staff similar to that of the presi- 
dent of Thebais. 


The pretorian prefect of Italy. 
The pretorian prefect of the Gauls. 
The prefect of the city of Rome. 
The master of foot in the presence. 
The master of horse in the presence. 
The master of horse in the Gauls. 
The provost of the sacred bedchamber. 
The master of the offices. 
The quaestor. 

The count of the sacred bounties. 
The count of the private domains. 
The count of the household horse. 

1 The lower members of staffs of officials of lesser dignity were called 
cohortalini ; those attached to the higher staffs apparitor es ; those in the 
staffs of the great palace functionaries, palatini. The cohortalini formed an 
hereditary caste from which escape was very difficult. 


The count of the household foot. 

The superintendent of the sacred bedchamber. 

The chief of the notaries. 

The castellan of the sacred palace. 

The masters of bureaus: 

of memorials; of correspondence; of requests. 
The proconsul of Africa. 
Six vicars: 

of the city of Rome; of Italy; of Africa; of the Spains; of 
the Seven Provinces; of the Britains. 
Six military counts: 

of Italy; of Africa; of Tingitania; of the tractus Argentora- 
tensis; of the Britains; of the Saxon shore of Britain. 
Thirteen dukes: 

of the frontier of Mauritania Csesariensis; of the Tripolitan 
frontier; of Pannonia prima and ripuarian Noricum; of 
Pannonia secunda; of ripuarian Valeria; of Rsetia prima 
and secunda; of Sequanica; of the Armorican and Nervi- 
can tract; of Belgica secunda; of Germania prima; of 
Britannia; of Mogontiacensis. 
Twenty- two consulars: 
of Pannonia; 
in Italy eight: 

of Venetia and Histria; of iEmilia; of Liguria; of 
Flaminia and Picenum annonarium; of Tuscia and 
Umbria; of Picenum suburbicarium; of Campania; 
of Sicilia. 
in Africa two: 

ofByzacium; ofNumidia. 
in the Spains three: 

ofBsetica; of L,usitania; ofCallsecia. 
in the Gauls six: 

of Viennensis; of Lngdunensis prima; of Germania 
prima; of Germania secunda; of Belgica prima; of 
Belgica secunda. 
in the Britains two: 

of Maxima Caesariensis; of Valentia. 
Three correctors: 
in Itaty two: 

of Apulia and Calabria; of Lucania and Brittii. 


in Pannonia one: 
of Savia. 
Thirty-one presidents: 
in Iilyricum fonr: 

of Dalmatia; of Pannonia prima; of Mediterranean 
Noricum; of ripuarian Noricum. 
in Italy seven: 

of the Cottian Alps; of Rsetia prima; of Rsetia secunda; 
ofSamnium; of Valeria; of Sardinia; of Corsica, 
in Africa two: 

of Mauritania Sitifensis; of Tripolitana. 
in the S pains four: 

of Tarraconensis; of Carthaginensis; of Tingitania; of 
the Balearic Isles. 
in the Gauls eleven: 

of the maritime Alps; of the Pennine and Graian Alps; 
of Maxima Sequanorum; of Aquitanica prima; of 
Aquitanica secunda; of Novempopulana; of Narbo- 
nensis prima; of Narboneusis secunda; of IyUgdu- 
nensis secunda; of I,ugdunensis tertia; of L,ugdu- 
nensis Senonica. 
in the Britains three: 

of Britannia prima; of Britannia secunda; of Flavia 



Under the control of the illustrious pretorian prefect of Italy 
are the dioceses mentioned below: 
Italy; Iilyricum; Africa. 

of Italy seventeen: 

Venetia; iEmilia; Liguria; Flaminia and Picenum 
annonarium; Tuscia and Umbria; Picenum suburbi- 
carium; Campania; Sicily; Apulia and Calabria; 
Lucania and Brittii; the Cottian Alps; Rsetia prima; 
Rsetia secunda; Samnium; Valeria; Sardinia; Corsica, 
of Iilyricum six: 

Pannonia secunda; Savia; Dalmatia; Pannonia prima; 
Mediterranean Noricum; ripuarian Noricum. 


of Africa seven: 

Byzacium; Nunridia; Mauritania Sitifensis; Mauritania 

Csesariensis; Tripolis. 
The prefect of the grain tribute of Africa; the prefect 
of the patrimonial estates. 
The staff of the illustrious pretorian prefect of Italy: 
A chief of staff, 
A chief deputy, 
A chief assistant, 
A custodian, 
A keeper of the records, 
Receivers of taxes, 

A curator of correspondence, 
A registrar, 



Under the control of the illustrious pretorian prefect of the 
Gauls are the dioceses mentioned below: 

The Spains; the Seven Provinces; the Britains. 

of the Spains seven: 

Baetica; Lusitania; Callsecia; Tarraconensis; Cartha- 
ginensis; Tingitania; the Balearic Isles. 
of the Seven Provinces seventeen: 1 

Viennensis; L,ugdunensis prima; Germania prima; 
Germania secunda; Belgica prima; Belgica secunda; 
the Maritime Alps; the Pennine and Graian Alps; 
Maxima Sequanorum; Aquitania prima; Aquitania 
secunda; Novempopuli; Narboneusis prima; Nar- 
bonensis secunda; Lugdunensis secunda; Lugdu- 
nensis tertia; Lugdunensis Senonia. 

x See Bury's Gibbon, Vol. II, App. 11, for the anomaly of seventeen prov- 
inces ranged under the title, The Seven Provinces. Subdivision and addi- 
tion had caused what was originally the diocese of The Five Provinces to 
include the seventeen here named. 


of the Britains five: 

Maxima Caesariensis; Valentia; Britannia prima; Bri- 
tannia secunda; Flauia Csesariensis. 
The staff of the illustrious pretorian prefect of the Gauls: 

[precisely the same as that of the pretorian prefect of the 
Bast, p. 5.] 



Under the control of the illustrious prefect of the city of Rome 
are held the administrative positions mentioned below: 

The prefect of the grain supply, 

The prefect of the watch, 

The count of the aqueducts, 

The count of the banks and bed of the Tiber, and of the 

The count of the port, 

The master of the census, 

The collector of the wine-tax, 

The tribune of the swine-market, 

The consular of the water-supply, 

The curator of the chief works, 

The curator of public works, 

The curator of statues, 

The curator of the Galban granaries, 

The centenarian of the port, 1 

The tribune of art works (?). 
The staff of the illustrious prefect of the city: 

A chief of staff, 

A chief deputy, 

A chief assistant, 

A custodian, 

A keeper of the records, 

Receivers of taxes, 

A chief clerk (or receiver), 


A curator of correspondence, 

'The functions of this officer and the next one cannot be accurately deter- 
mined, and the translation is uncertain in the latter case, tribunus rerum 


A registrar, 



Clerks of the census, 




Under the control of the illustrious master of foot in the pres- 

The counts of the frontiers mentioned below: 

Italy; Africa; Tingitania; Tractus Argentoratensis; 
the Britains; the Saxon shore toward the Britains. 
The ten dukes of the frontiers mentioned below: 

Mauretania Csesariensis; Tripolitanus; Pannonia se- 
cunda; ripuarian Valeria; Pannonia prima and ripu- 
arian Noricum; Rsetia prima and secuuda; Belgica 
secunda; Germania prima; the Britains; Mogontia- 
[Twelve palatine legions,* 
Sixty-five palatine auxilia. 
Thirty-two legions of the line, 
Eighteen legions of the secondary line.] 
The staff of the aforesaid master of foot in the presence: 
A chief of staff, 
An accountant, 
A custodian, 
A chief assistant, 
A registrar, 
Secretaries and other attendants. 



Under the control of the illustrious count and master of horse 
in the presence: 

[Ten palatine squadrons,* 
Thirty-two squadrons of the line.] 

* Enumeration omitted. 


The staff of the aforesaid master's office: 
A chief of staff, 
An accountant, 
A chief clerk, 
A custodian, 
A chief assistant, 
A registrar, 
Secretaries and other attendants. 



In Italy: 

[Seven palatine legions,* 

Twenty palatine auxilia, 

Five legions of the line, 

Two legions of the secondary line, 

Two unclassified bodies.] 
In Illyricum with the worshipful count of Illyricuin: 

[Thirteen palatine auxilia* 

Five legions of the line, 

Three legions of the secondary line, 

One unclassified body.] 
In the Gauls with the illustrious master of horse in the 

[Fifteen palatine auxilia* 

One palatine legion, 

Ten legions of the line, 

Ten legions of the secondary line, 

Twelve unclassified bodies.] 
The staff of the illustrious master of horse in the Gauls: 

A chief from the staffs of the masters of soldiery in the 
presence, in one year from that of the master of foot, and 
in the next from that of the master of horse. 
A custodian, 

Accountants from the two staffs in alternate years, 
A chief assistant, 
A registrar, 

* Enumeration omitted. 


Secretaries and other attendants. 

In the Spains with the worshipful count: 

[Eleven palatine auxilia* 

Five legions of the line.] 
In Tingitania with the worshipful count: 

[Two palatine auxilia* 

Two legions of the line.] 
In Africa with the worshipful count of Africa: 

[Three palatine legions,* 

One palatine auxilium> 

Seven legions of the line.] 
In the Britains with the worshipful count of the Britains: 

[One palatine auxilium* 

One legion of the line, 

One unclassified body.] 
Also squadrons of cavalry: 
In Italy: 

[Six palatine,* 

One of the line.] 
In the Gauls with the illustrious count and master of horse 
in the Gauls: 

[Four palatine,* 

Bight of the line.] 
In Africa with the worshipful count of Africa: 

[Nineteen of the line.] * 
In Britain with the worshipful count of the Britains: 

[Three of the line,* 

Two unclassified.] 
In Tingitania with the worshipful count of Tingitania: 

[Three of the line.]* 


the provost of the sacred bedchamber. 

[The text relating to the provost of the sacred bedchamber is 

* Enumeration omitted. 



IX. 1 



Under the control of the illustrious master of the offices: 
The first school of shield-bearers, 
The second school of shield-bearers, 
The senior light-armed school. 
The school of senior gentiks, 
The third school of shield-bearers, 

The school of confidential agents and those assigned from 
that school, 

typical insignia, showing the table with the book of mandates, orna- 
mented with the imperial portraits, and below the types of arms and accou- 
trements made in the various arsenals under the control of the master of the 


The bureau of memorials, 
The bureau of assignments, 

The bureau of correspondence, 
The bureau of requests, 
The doorkeepers, 
The court ushers {cancellarn). 
The arsenals mentioned below: 
In Illyricum: 

of shields, saddle-cloths and weapons, at Sirmium, 

of shields, at Acincum, 

of shields, at Carnuntum, 

of shields, at Lauriacum, 

of weapons, at Salona. 
In Italy: 

of arrows, at Concordia, 

of shields and weapons, at Verona, 

of leather corselets, at Mantua, 

of shields, at Cremona, 

of bows, at Ticinum, 

of broadswords, at Lmca. 
In the Gauls: 

of all weapons, at Argenton, 

of arrows, at Macon, 

of leather corselets, ballistce, and mail, at Autun, 

of shields, at Autun, 

of , at Soissons, 

of broadswords, at Rheims, 

of shields, at Trier, 

of ballistcB, at Trier, 

of broadswords and shields, at Amiens. 
The staff of the aforesaid illustrious master of the offices is con- 
stituted from the school of confidential agents in this manner: 
A chief assistant, 
A deputy of the chief assistant, 
Assistants for the various arsenals, 
An inspector of the public post in the presence, 
Inspectors for all the provinces, 
Interpreters for all peoples. 




Under the control of the illustrious quaestor: 

The formulation of laws, 

The formulation of petitions. 
He has subordinate clerical assistants from the various bureaus. 



Under the control of the illustrious count of the sacred bounties: 
The count of the bounties in Illyricum, 
The count of the wardrobe, 
The count of gold, 
The count of the Italian bounties, 

The accountant of the general tax of Pannonia secunda, 

Dalmatia and Savia, 
The accountant of the general tax of Pannonia prima, 

Valeria, Mediterranean and ripuarian Noricum, 
The accountant of the general tax of Italy, 
The accountant of the general tax of the city of Rome, 
The accountant of the general tax of the Three Prov- 
inces, that is, of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, 
The accountant of the general tax of Africa, 
The accountant of the general tax of Numidia, 
The accountant of the general tax of Spain, 
The accountant of the general tax of the Five Prov- 
The accountant of the general tax of the Gauls, 
The accountant of the general tax of the Britains. 
Provosts of the storehouses: 
In Illyricum: 

The provost of the storehouses at Salona in Dal- 
The provost of the storehouses at Siscia in Savia, 
The provost of the storehouses at Savaria in Pan- 
nonia prima. 
In Italy: 

The provost of the storehouses at Aquileia in 


The provost of the storehouses at Milan in Liguria, 
The provost of the storehouses of the city of Rome, 
The provost of the storehouses at Augsburg in 
Raetia secunda. 
In the Gauls: 

The provost of the storehouses at Lyons, 
The provost of the storehouses at Aries, 
The provost of the storehouses at Rheims, 
The provost of the storehouses at Trier. 
In the Britains: 

The provost of the storehouses at London. 
Procurators of the mints: 

The procurator of the mint at Siscia, 
The procurator of the mint at Aquileia, 
The procurator of the mint in the city of Rome, 
The procurator of the mint at Lyons, 
The procurator of the mint at Aries, 
The procurator of the mint at Trier. 
Procurators of the weaving-houses: 

The procurator of the weaving-house at Bassiana, in 

Pannonia secunda — removed from Salona, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Sirmium in 

Pannonia secunda, 
The procurator of the Jovian weaving-house at Spalato 

in Dalmatia, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Aquileia in 

Venetia inferior, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Milan in 

The procurator of the weaving-house in the city of 

The procurator of the weaving-house at Canosa and 

Venosa in Apulia, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Carthage in 

The procurator of the weaving-house at Aries in the 

province of Vienne, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Lyons, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Rheims in 
Belgica secunda, 


The procurator of the weaving-house at Tourney in 
Belgica secunda, 

The procurator of the weaving-house at Trier in Bel- 
gica secunda, 

The procurator of the weaving-house at Autun — re- 
moved from Metz, 

The procurator of the weaving-house at Winchester in 
Procurators of the linen-weaving houses: 

The procurator of the linen-weaving house at Vienne, 
in the Gauls, 

The procurator of the linen-weaving house at Ravenna 
in Italy. 
Procurators of the dye-houses: 

The procurator of the dye-house at Tarentum in Cala- 

The procurator of the dye-house at Salona in Dalmatia, 

The procurator of the dye-house at Cissa in Venetia 
and Istria, 

The procurator of the dye-house at Syracuse in Sicily, 

The procurator of the dye-houses in Africa, 

The procurator of the dye-house at Girba, in the prov- 
ince of Tripolis, 

The procurator of the dye-house in the Balearic Isles 
in Spain, 

The procurator of the dye-house at Toulon in the Gauls, 

The procurator of the dye-house at Narbonne. 
Procurators of the embroiderers in gold and silver: 

The procurator of the embroiderers in gold and silver 
at Aries, 

The procurator of the embroiderers in gold and silver 
at Rheims, 

The procurator of the embroiderers in gold and silver 
at Trier, 
Procurators of the goods despatch: 

For the Eastern traffic: 

The provost of the first Eastern despatch, and the 

fourth [return], 
The provost of the second Eastern despatch, and 
the third [return], 


The provost of the second [return] despatch, and 

the third from the East, 
The provost of the first [return] despatch, and the 
fourth from the East. 
For the traffic with the Gauls: 

The provost of the first Gallic despatch, and the 
fourth [return]. 
The counts of the markets in Illyricum. 
The staff of the aforesaid illustrious count of the sacred boun- 
ties includes: 

A chief clerk of the whole staff, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of fixed taxes, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of records, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of accounts, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of gold bullion, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of gold for shipment, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of the sacred wardrobe, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of silver, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of miliarensia, 

A chief clerk of the bureau of coinage, and other clerks, 

A deputy chief clerk of the staff, who is chief clerk of the 

A sub- deputy chief clerk who has charge of the goods 



Under the control of the illustrious count of the private domain: 
The count of the private bounties, 
The count of the Gildonian patrimony, 1 
The accountant of the private properties in Illyricum, 
The accountant of the private properties in Italy, 2 
The accountant of the private property in Italy, 

1 Gildo was a Moor who had served the Romans against his rebellious 
brother in Africa, and been entrusted by them with a high position. But 
he in turn rebelled, and was killed in battle in 398. His forfeited estates 
formed the Gildonian patrimony. See Gibbon, Chap. XXIX. 

2 The difference between an accountant of the private property in Italy 
and one of the private properties (plural) is not understood. It may be a 
textual error. 


The accountant of the private property in the city of Rome, 
and the suburbicarian regions, and the estate of Faustina, 
The accountant of the private property in Sicily, 
The accountant of the private property in Africa, 
The accountant of the private property in the Spains, 
The accountant of the private property in the Gauls, 
The accountant of the private property in the Five Prov- 
The accountant of the private property in the imperial 

estates in Africa, 
The procurator of the private property in Sicily, 
The procurator of the private property in Apulia and Cala- 
bria and the pastures of Carmignano, 
The provost of the private property in Sequanicum and 

Germania prima, 
The procurator of the private property in Dalmatia, 
The procurator of the private property in Savia, 
The procurator of the private property in Italy, 
The procurator of the private property in the estates of 

Julian in the urbicarian regions, 
The procurator of the private property in Mauritania Siti- 

The procurator of the private property in the weaving- 
houses at Trier, 
The procurator of the weaving-house at Viviers, rei privates 

Metii translata anhelat^ 
The provost of the private baggage-despatch to the East 

by the lower route, 2 
The provost of the private baggage-despatch to the Gauls. 
The^staff of the aforesaid count of the private domain includes: 
A chief clerk of the whole staff, 
A head of the bureau of remitted taxes, 
A head of the bureau of the fixed taxes, 
A head of the bureau of receipts, 

A head of the bureau of private bounties, clerks and other 
attaches of the aforesaid bureaus, 

\The text is evidently corrupt, and yields no sense. 
a L By the sea ? 


A deputy chief clerk of the whole staff, who has charge of 

the documents of the staff, 
Other palatine officials. 




Under the control of the illustrious counts of the household 
horse and foot: 

The household horse, 
The household foot, 
Those assigned from these. 



Under the control of worshipful superintendent of the sacred 

[The text is wanting.] 



Under the control of the worshipful castellan: 

[The same as in the similar office in the East, No. XVII, 
save that here we have ''the lady Augusta" in the sin- 



Under the control of the worshipful chief of the notaries: 
[The same as in No. XVIII, above.] 



The master of the bureau of memorials formulates all rescripts 
and issues them, and also responds to petitions. 

The master of the bureau of correspondence deals with legations 
from" cities and consultations and petitions. 

The master of the bureau of requests deals with the hearing of 
casesjand petitions. 



Under the control of the worshipful proconsul of Africa: 

The proconsular province and its two legates. 
His staff is as follows: 

A chief of staff from the school of confidential agents of 
the first class, 

A chief deputy, 

Two receivers of taxes, 

A chief clerk, 

A custodian, 

A chief assistant, 

A keeper of the records, 



Notaries, and the rest of the staff. 


the vicar of the city of rome. 

Under the control of the worshipful vicar of the city ofrRome 
are the provinces mentioned below: 

of Campania, 
of Tuscany and Umbria, 
of suburbicarian Picenum, 
of Sicily. 

of Apulia and Calabria, 
of Bruttii and L,ucania. 

of Samnium, 
of Sardinia, 
of Corsica, 
of Valeria. 
The staff of the aforesaid worshipful vicar is as follows: 

[Same as in the preceding section, with the addition of a 
curator of correspondence.] 



Under the control of the worshipful vicar of the Seven'-Provinces: 


of Lyons, 

of Germania prima, 

of Germania secunda, 

of Belgica prima, 

of Belgica secunda. 

of the Maritime Alps, 

of the Pennine and Graian Alps, 

of Maxima Sequanorum, 

of Aquitanica prima, 

of Aquitanica secunda, 

of No vera populi, 

of Narbonensis prima, 

of Narbonensis secunda, 

of Lugdunensis secunda, 

of Lugdunensis tertia, 

of Lugdunensis Senonia. 
The staff of the aforesaid worshipful vicar of the Seven Provinces: 
[The same as in No. XIX.] 



Under the control of the worshipful vicar of the Britains: 

of Maxima Csesariensis, 

of Valentia. 

of Britannia prima, 

of Britannia secunda, 

of Flavia Csesariensis. 
The staff of the same worshipful vicar is as follows: 
[The same as in No. XIX.] 



Under the control of the worshipful count of Tingitania: 

[One prefect of a squadron, and seven tribunes of 
cohorts.] * 
The staff of the same worshipful count is as follows: 

A chief of staff from the staffs of the masters of the soldiery 
in the presence; one year from that of the master of foot, 
the other from that of the master of horse. 
A custodian as above, 

Two accountants, in alternate years from the aforesaid staffs, 
A chief deputy, 
A chief assistant, 
An assistant, 
A registrar, 
Notaries and other officials. 



Under the control of the worshipful duke of the Armorican and 
Nervican tract: 

[One tribune of a cohort and nine military prefects.]* 
The Armorican and Nervican tract is extended to include the 
Five Provinces: 

Aquitanica prima and secunda, L,ugdunensis Senonia, 
secunda and tertia. 
The staff of the same worshipful duke includes: 

A chief of staff from the staffs of the masters of soldiery in 

the presence in alternate years, 
An accountant from the staff of the master of foot for one 

A custodian from the aforesaid staffs in alternate years, 
A chief assistant, 
An assistant, 
A registrar, 
Notaries and other officials. 

* Enumeration omitted. 



THE) consular OF CAMPANIA. 

Under the control of the right honorable consular of Campania: 

The province of Campania. 
His staff is as follows: 

A chief of staff from the staff of the pretorian prefect of 

A chief deputy, 
Two accountants, 
A chief assistant, 
A custodian, 
A keeper of the records, 
An assistant, 

Secretaries and other cohortaUni y who are not allowed to 
pass to another service without the permission of the im- 
perial clemency. 
All the other consulars have a staff like that of the consular oi 



Under the jurisdiction of the right honorable corrector of 
Apulia and Calabria: 

The province of Apulia and Calabria. 
His staff is as follows: 

A chief of the same staff, 
A chief deputy, 
Two accountants, 
A custodian, 
A chief assistant, 
A keeper of the records, 
An assistant, 

Secretaries and other cohortalini, who are not allowed to 
pass to another service without the permission of the im- 
perial clemency. 
The other correctors have a staff like that of the corrector of 
Apulia and Calabria. 




Under the jurisdiction of the honorable 1 president of Dalmatia: 

The province of Dalmatia. 
His staff is as follows: 

[The same as in No. XI.IV.] 
The other presidents have a staff like that of the president of 


Booking, Edward: Notitia Dignitatum. 3 vol?. Text, notes and index, 

pp. lxvi, 540, 1210; 192. Bonn, 1839-1853. Latin. 

The only thorough commentary; the text is superseded by the edition 
next mentioned. 

Seeck, Otto: Notitia Dignitatum. 1 vol., pp. xxx, 339. Berlin, 1876. 
Latin. Contains also the Notitia urbis Constantinopolitanse, Latereulus 
Veronensis, Latereulus Polemii Sylvii, Notitia Galliarum; the last three 
being lists of dioceses and provinces. 
The standard edition of the text. 

Gothofredus, Jacobus : Codex Theodosianus cum perpetuis commentariis. 
6 vols, in three, folio, pp. excix, 462, 666; 538, 619; 422, 436. L)ons, 
Indispensable as a commentary on the Notitia. 

Haenel, Gustav Friedrich : Codex Theodosianus. Bonn, 1842 ; revised, 
1882. The text only, with critical apparatus. 

Gibbon, Edward: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, edited by 

J. B. Bury. 

Of special value as interpretative of the Notitia are appendices 10-13, 
and chap, xvii, in vol. ii. 

Bury, J. B.: A History of the Later Roman Empire. 2 vols. London, 
1889. Chap, iv bears on the organization of the empire. 

Hodgkin, Thomas: Italy and Her Invaders. 8 vols. London, 1892-9. 
Book I, chap, xii, treats the subject-matter of the Notitia. 

1 Perfectissimus. The only instance of this rank — a grade lower than 
clarissimus, "right honorable" — in the Notitia. 

Translations and Reprints 






"Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae" 2 

Capitularies relating to the Army 6 

Letter of Charles to Abbot Fulrad u 

Capitularies relating to Education 12 

Letter of Charles "De litteris colendis" 12 

"Karoli Epistola Generalis" 14 

General Capitulary for the Missi, 802 16 

Division of the Kingdoms, 806 27 


All of these documents are translated from the Capitularia Regum Fran- 
corutn, edited by Boretius, in Volume I. of Section 2, of the Legum in the 
Monumenta Germaniae Historica, published at Hanover, 1882. Suggestions 
as to the translation of some of the laws have been borrowed from various 
works, German, French, Latin and English. The text of the "General 
Capitulary for the Missi" is so hopelessly corrupt that no accurate transla- 
tion can be made. In parts, as Boretius says, it is difficult to know what the 
laws mean. In many passages it is necessary to edit the text before trans- 
lating it. 

No bibliography has been attempted. The works on this subject are 
very numerous, and many of them are strictly technical. An uuannotated 
list would be of little value; a list with annotations would require too much 
space. Mombert's Charles the Great is still the best work in English. 

Extracts from the capitulary De Villis and an "Inventory of an Estate of 
Charles the Great" can be found in Vol. III., No. 2, of this series. 


Boretius, No. 26, p. 68. Latin. 

First, concerning the greater chapters it has been enacted. 

It was pleasing to all that the churches of Christ, which are 
now being built in Saxony and consecrated to God, should not 
have less, but greater and more illustrious honor, than the fanes 
of the idols had had. 

2. If any one shall have fled to a church for refuge, let no one 
presume to expel him from the church by violence, but he shall be 
left in peace until he shall be brought to the judicial assemblage; 
and on account of the honor due to God and the saints, and the 
reverence due to the church itself, let his life and all his members 
be granted to him. Moreover, let him plead his cause as best he 
can and he shall be judged; and so let him be led to the presence 
of the lord king, and the latter shall send him where it shall have 
seemed fitting to his clemency. 

3. If any one shall have entered a church by violence and shall 
have carried off anything in it by force or theft, or shall have 
burned the church itself, let him be punished by death. 

4. If any one, out of contempt for Christianity, shall have de- 
spised the holy Lenten fast and shall have eaten flesh, let him be 
punished by death. But, nevertheless, let it be taken into con- 
sideration by a priest, lest perchance any one from necessity has 
been led to eat flesh. 

5. If any one shall have killed a bishop or priest or deacon, let 
him likewise be punished capitally. 

6. If any one deceived by the devil shall have believed, after 
the manner of the pagans, that any man or woman is a witch and 
eats men, and on this account shall have burned the person, or 
shall have given the person's flesh to others to eat, or shall have 
eaten it himself, let him be punished by a capital sentence. 

7. If any one, in accordance with pagan rites, shall have caused 
the body of a dead man to be burned and shall have reduced his 
bones to ashes, let him be punished capitally. 

8. If any one of the race of the Saxons hereafter concealed 
among them shall have wished to hide himself unbaptized, and 
shall have scorned to come to baptism and shall have wished to 
remain a pagan, let him be punished by death. 

9. If any one shall have sacrificed a man to the devil, and after 


the manner of the pagans shall have presented him as a victim to 
the demons, let him be punished by death. 

10. If any one shall have formed a conspiracy with the pagans 
against the Christians, or shall have wished to join with them in 
opposition to the Christians, 1 let him be punished by death; and 
whosoever shall have consented to this same fraudulently against 
the king and the Christian people, let him be punished by death. 

ii. If any one shall have shown himself unfaithful to the lord 
king, let him be punished with a capital sentence. 

12. If any one shall have ravished the daughter of his lord, let 
him be punished by death. 

13. If any one shall have killed his lord or lady, let him be 
punished in a like manner. 

14. If, indeed, for these mortal crimes secretly committed any 
one shall have fled of his own accord to a priest, and after confes- 
sion shall have wished to do penance, let him be freed by the 
testimony of the priest from death. 

15. Concerning the lesser chapters all have consented. To each 
church let the parishioners 2 present a house and two mansi % of 
land, and for each one hundred and twenty men, noble and free, 
and likewise liti, let them give to the same church a man-servant 
and a maid-servant. 

16. And this has been pleasing, Christ being propitious, that 
whencesoever any receipts shall have come into the treasury, 
either for a breach of the peace or for any penalty of any kind, 
and in all income pertaining to the king, a tithe shall be rendered 
to the churches and priests. 

17. Likewise, in accordance with the mandate of God, we com- 
mand that all shall give a tithe of their property and labor to the 
churches and priests; let the nobles as well as the freemen, and 
likewise the Hit, according to that which God shall have given 
to each Christian, return a part to God. 

18. That on the Lord's day no meetings and public judicial 
assemblages shall be held, unless perchance in a case of great 
necessity or when war compels it, but all shall go to the church 
to hear the word of God, and shall be free for prayers or good 

1 Vel cum tilts in adversitate christianorum perdurare voluerit. 

3 Pagenses ad ecclesiam recurrentes. 

s A mansus is, according to Platz, 720 rods long and 30 broad. 


works. Likewise, also, on the especial festivals they shall devote 
themselves to God and to the services of the church, and shall 
refrain from secular assemblies. 

19. likewise, it has been pleasing to insert in these decrees 
that all infants shall be baptized within a year; and we have de- 
creed this, that if any one shall have despised to bring his infant 
to baptism within the course of a year, without the advice or per- 
mission of the priest, if he is a noble he shall pay 120 solidi to the 
treasury, if a freeman 60, if a litus 30. 

20. If any one shall have made a prohibited or illegal marriage, 
if a noble 60 solidi, if a freeman 30, if a litus 15. 

21. If any one shall have made a vow at springs or trees or 
groves, or shall have made any offering after the manner of the 
heathen and shall have partaken of a repast in honor of the 
demons, if he shall be a noble 60 solidi, if a freeman 30, if a litus 
15. If, indeed, they have not the means of paying at once, they 
shall be given into the service of the church until the solidi are 

22. We command that the bodies of Saxon Christians shall be 
carried to the church cemeteries and not to the mounds of the 

23. We have ordered that diviners and soothsayers shall be 
given to the churches and priests. 

24. Concerning robbers and malefactors who shall have fled 
from one county to another, if any one shall receive them into 
his power and shall keep them with him for seven nights, except 
for the purpose of bringing them to justice, let him pay our ban. 
Likewise, if a count shall have concealed him and shall be unwill- 
ing to bring him forward so that justice may be done and is not 
able to excuse himself for this, let him lose his office. 

25. Concerning a pledge: that no one shall in any way presume 
to pledge another, and whosoever shall do this shall pay the ban. 

26. That no one shall presume to impede any man coming to us 
to claim justice; and if anyone shall have attempted to do this, 
he shall pay our ban. 

27. If any man shall not have been able to find a fidejussor, his 
property shall be sequestrated until he shall present a fidejussor. 
If, indeed, he shall have presumed to enter into his own dwelling 
in defiance of the ban, he shall forfeit either ten solidi or an ox 
for the violation of the ban itself, and in addition he shall pay the 


sum for which he was in debt. If, indeed, the fidejussor shall 
not observe the day fixed, then he shall suffer as much loss as 
his proportion of the guarantee was; moreover, he who was debtor 
to the fidejussor shall restore double the loss which he has per- 
mitted the fidejussor to incur. 

28. Concerning presents and gifts: let no one receive gifts to 
the detriment of an innocent person; and if any one shall have 
presumed to do this, he shall pay our ban. And if perchance the 
count shall have done this (may it not happen !) he shall lose his 

29. Let all the counts strive to preserve peace and unity with 
one another; and if perchance any discord or disturbance shall 
have arisen between them, they shall not on this account neglect 
either our aid or profit. 1 

30. If any one shall have killed or shall have aided in the mur- 
der of a count, his property shall go to the king, and he shall be- 
come the serf of the latter. 

31. We have granted the authority to the counts within their 
jurisdiction of inflicting the ban of 60 solidi for revenge (faida) or 
the greater crimes; for the lesser crimes, on the other hand, we 
have fixed the ban of the count at 15 solidi. 

32. If any one owes an oath to any man whatsoever, let him 
duly make his oaths to that one at the church on the day ap- 
pointed; and if he shall have despised to take the oath, let him 
give a pledge, and let him who was contumacious pay fifteen 
solidi, and afterwards let him fully compound for his act. 

33. Concerning perjuries, let it be according to the law of the 

34. We have forbidden that all the Saxons shall hold public 
assemblies in general, unless perchance our missus shall have 
caused them to come together in accordance with our command; 
but each count shall hold judicial assemblies and administer jus- 
tice in his jurisdiction. And this shall be cared for by the priests, 
lest it be done otherwise. 

1 Abel substitutes profedum for perfectum, and this suggestion has been 
followed in the translation. 

* Death penalty. 



Capitulare Haristallense. 779. 

Boretius, No. 20, p. 50. Latin. 
Ch. 14. Let no one presume to gather an armed following (truste). 
Ch. 20. Let no one dare to sell any byrnies outside of our realm. 

Capitulare Missorum. 803. 
Boretius, No. 40, p. 115. Latin. 

Ch. 7. Bucklers and byrnies shall not be given to the mer- 

Capitulare Italicum. 801. 
Boretius, No. 98, p. 205. Latin. 

Ch. 2. De haribanno. If any free man, out of contempt for our 
command, shall have presumed to remain at home when the 
others go to war, let him know that he ought to pay the full 
hariban?iu?}i according to the law of the Franks, that is, sixty 
solidi. Likewise, also, for contempt of single capitularies which 
we have promulgated by our royal authority, that is, any one who 
shall have broken the peace decreed for the churches of God, 
widows, orphans, wards, and the weak, shall pay the fine of sixty 

Ch. 3. Concerning deserters. If any one shall have shown him- 
self so contumacious or haughty as to leave the army and return 
home without the command or permission of the king, that is, if 
he is guilty of what we call in the German language herisliz, he 
himself, as a criminal, shall incur the peril of losing his life, and 
his property shall be confiscated for our treasury. 

Capitulare Missorum in Theodonis Villa datum secundum, generate. 8oj (?). 
Boretius, No. 44, p. 123. Latin. 

Ch. 6. Concerning the equipment in the army the same shall 
be observed as we have previously commanded in another capitu- 
lary, 1 and, in particular, every man who possesses twelve mansi 
shall have a byrnie; he who has a byrnie and shall not have 
brought it with him shall lose his whole benefice, together with 
the byrnie. 

1 The capitulary referred to is not now in existence. 


Ch. 7. Concerning the merchants who go to the countries of 
the Slavs and Avars, whither they ought to go on their business; 
that is, in the country of the Saxons as far as Bardowiek, which 
is under the charge of Hredi ; and to Schesel, which is under the 
charge of Madalgaudus ; and to Magdeburg, which is under the 
charge of Alio ; and to Erfurt, which is under the charge of 
Madalgaudus ; and to Halazstat? which is under the charge of the 
same Madalgaudus ; to Forchheim and to Pfreimt and to Regens- 
burg, which are under the charge of Audulfus ; and to L,orsch, 
which is under the charge of Warnarius. And they shall not 
carry arms and byrnies for sale; but if they shall have been dis- 
covered carrying any, all their property shall be taken from them; 
half shall go to the royal treasury, the other half shall be divided 
between the above-mentioned missi and the discoverer. 

Ch. 19 (p. 125). Concerning the heribannum we will that our 
missi ought to exact it faithfully this year in accordance with our 
command, without indulgence for any person, either from favors 
or terror; that is, that they shall receive the lawful fine, namely, 
three pounds, from each man who has six pounds in gold, silver, 
byrnies, brazen utensils, clothing, horses, oxen, cows, or other 
live stock; but the women and children shall not be deprived of 
their garments for this fine. Those who do not have the aforesaid 
property to the value of more than three pounds shall pay thirty 
solidi ; he who has not more than two pounds, ten solidi ; if, 
indeed, any one has not more than one pound, five solidi, so that 
he may be able again to prepare himself for the service of God 
and for our need. And our missi shall take care and inquire 
diligently, lest through any evil action any defraud our justice by 
transferring or commending their property to others. 

Memoratorium de exercitu in Gallia occidentali pra*parando. 807. 
Boretius, No. 48, p. 134. Latin. 

Ch. 1. In the first place, all who seem to have benefices shall 
come to the army. 

Ch. 2. Each free man who seems to hold five mansi shall like- 
wise come to the army; and he who holds four mansi shall do the 
same; and he who seems to have three shall likewise go. More- 
over, wherever two have been found of whom each seems to have 

*Not in existence to-day; it was near Bamberg. 


two mansi, one shall equip the other, and the one of them who 
shall be better able shall come to the army. And where two shall 
have been found of whom one has two ma?isi and the other has 
one mansuSy they shall join together in the same way and one 
shall equip the other, and the one who shall be better able shall 
come to the army. Wherever, moreover, three shall have been 
found of whom each has one mansus, two shall equip the third, 
the one of them who is better able shall come to the army. Of 
those who have half a mansus, five shall equip the sixth. And 
of those who shall have been found so poor that they have neither 
serfs nor their own property in lands, and yet have personal prop- 
erty to the value of — solidi, 1 five shall prepare a sixth [and 
where two, a third from those who seem to have small possessions 
in land]. 2 And to each one of those who go in the army five 
solidi shall be paid by the aforesaid poorer ones who seem to have 
no property in land. And let no one abandon his lord on this 

Capitula de causis diversis. 807 (?). 
Boretius, No. 49, p. 136. Latin. 

Ch. 2. If it shall be necessary to furnish aid against the Sara- 
cens of Spain or the Avars, then five of the Saxons shall equip a 
sixth; and if it shall be necessary to bear aid against the Bohem- 
ians, two shall equip a third; if, indeed, there is need of defend- 
ing the native country against the Sorbs, then all shall come 

Ch. 3. From the Frisians we will that the counts and our vas- 
sals, who seem to have benefices, and all the horsemen in general, 
shall come well prepared to our assembly; of the remaining poorer 
men six shall equip a seventh, and thus they shall come well pre- 
pared for war to the aforesaid assembly. 

Capitulare missorum de exercitu promovendo. 808. 

Boretius, No. 50, p. 136. Latin. 

Ch. i. Every free man who has four mansi of his own property, or 

as a benefice from any one, shall equip himself and go to the army, 

either with his lord, if the lord goes, or with his count. He who 

1 Amount uncertain. Boretius thinks it should be 100 solidi or five pounds. 

2 Boretius thinks the words in brackets are wrongly placed and possibly 
ought to come above after " two shall equip the third." 


has three mansi of his own property shall be joined to a man who 
has one mansus, and shall aid him so that he may serve for both. 
He who has only two mansi of his own property shall be joined to 
another who likewise has two mansi t and one of them, with the 
aid of the other, shall go to the army. He who has only one 
mansus of his own shall be joined to one of three who have the 
same and shall aid him, and the latter shall go alone; the three 
who have aided him shall remain at home. 

Ch. 4. From the men who have been enfeoffed by the counts 
the following are to be excepted and are not commanded to pay 
the ban: two who shall have been left behind with the wife of a 
count and tw r o others who shall have been commanded to remain 
to guard his territory and to perform our service. In this case we 
command, however, that each count shall leave at home two men 
to guard each separate territory which he has, in addition to those 
two who remain with his wife; all the others, without any excep- 
tion, he shall have with him, or if he remains at home, he shall 
order them to proceed with the one w'ho goes to the army in his 
stead. A bishop or abbot shall leave at home only two of those 
who are enfeoffed and laymen. 

Capitulare Bononiense. 811, Oct. 
Boretius, No. 74, p. 166. Latin. 

Ch. 3. If any man holding an office under us shall have been 
summoned to the host and shall not have come to the appointed 
muster, he shall abstain from flesh and wine for as many days as 
he shall have been proved to be late in coming to the appointed 

Ch. 4. If any one, without the license or permission of the 
prince, shall have returned from the army, the Franks call this 
herisliz, we wish the ancient law to be preserved, that is, he shall 
be punished by a capital sentence. 

Ch. 5. If any one of those who hold a royal benefice shall have 
abandoned his peer proceeding in the army against the common 
enemies, and shall have been unwilling to go or stay w T ith him, he 
shall lose his office and benefice. 

Ch. 6. That in the host no one shall ask his peer or any other 
man to drink. And if any drunken person shall have been found 
in the army, he shall be so excommunicated that in drinking he 


shall use nothing but water until he acknowledges that he has 
acted wrongly. 

Ch. 7. Concerning the royal vassals who serve in the household 
at the present time and yet are known to have benefices, it has 
been decided that those who remain at home with the lord em- 
peror shall not retain their vassals in the household with them- 
selves, but shall permit the vassals to go with the count to whose 
district they belong. 

Ch. 8. It has been enacted that the preparation for serving in 
the army shall be defined and continued in accordance with the 
ancient custom, namely, victuals for a three months' march and 
arms and clothing for a half-year. But, nevertheless, it has been 
decided that this shall be observed in the following manner, so 
that those who march from the Rhine to the Loire shall compute 
the beginning of their provision from the Loire; those, indeed, 
who make their journey from the Loire to the Rhine shall com- 
pute their victuals for the three months from the Rhine; those, 
moreover, who dwell across the Rhine and proceed through Sax- 
ony shall know that the Elbe is their boundary; and those who 
remain across the Loire and ought to go to Spain shall know that 
the Pyrenees Mountains are their boundary. 

Ch. 9. If it shall have been learned that any free man has not 
been, during the present year, in the army with his lord, he shall 
be compelled to pay the full heribannum. And if his lord or 
count shall have permitted him to remain at home, the former 
shall pay the same fine on his account; and as many heribanni 
shall be demanded as he has allowed men to remain at home. 
And because in the present year we have allowed each lord to 
leave two of his men at home, we will that these shall be shown 
to our missi, because we have granted the heribannum to these 

Ch. 10. It has been enacted that no bishop or abbot or abbess, 
or any rector or guardian of a church, shall presume without our 
permission to give or sell a byrnie or sword to any man outside, 
except only to his own vassals. And if it shall happen that he 
has in any church or sacred place more byrnies than are sufficient 
for the men who guard the same church, then the same rector 
of the church shall ask the king what ought to be done with 


Capitulare Aquisgranense. 801-813. 
Bore this, No. 77, p. 170. Latin. 

Ch. 9. Concerning going to the army; the count in his county 
under penalty of the ban, and each man under penalty of sixt> 
solidi shall go to the army, so that they come to the appointed 
muster at that place where it is ordered. And the count himself 
shall see in what manner they are prepared, that is, each one 
shall have a lance, shield, bow with two strings, twelve arrows. 
And the bishops, counts, abbots shall oversee their own men and 
shall come on the day of the appointed muster and there show 
how they are prepared. Let them have breast-plates or helmets, 
and let them proceed to the army, that is, in the summer. 

Ch. 10. That the equipments of the king shall be carried in 
carts, also the equipments of the bishops, counts, abbots and 
nobles of the king ; flour, wine, pork and victuals in abundance, 
mills, adzes, axes, augers, slings, and men who know how to use 
these well. And the marshals of the king shall add stones for 
these on twenty beasts of burden, if there is need. And each one 
shall be prepared for the army and shall have plenty of all uten- 
sils. And each count shall save two parts of the fodder in his 
county for the army's use, and he shall have good bridges, good 

Boretius, No. 75, p. 168. Latin. 

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Charles, 
most serene, august, crowned by God, great pacific Emperor, and 
also, by God's mercy, King of the Franks and Lombards, to 
Abbot Fulrad. 

Be it known to you that we have decided to hold our general 
assembly this year in the eastern part of Saxony, on the river 
Bode, at the place which is called Stassfurt. Therefore, we have 
commanded you to come to the aforesaid place, with all your men 
well armed and prepared, on the fifteenth day before the Kalends 
of July, that is, seven days before the festival of St. John the 
Baptist. Come, accordingly, so equipped with your men to the 
aforesaid place that thence you may be able to go well prepared 
in any direction whither our summons shall direct; that is, with 
arms and gear also, and other equipment for war in food and 


clothing. So that each horseman shall have a shield, lance, 
sword, dagger, bow and quivers with arrows; and in your carts 
utensils of various kinds, that is, axes, planes, augers, boards, 
spades, iron shovels, and other utensils which are necessary in an 
army. In the carts also supplies of food for three months, dating 
from the time of the assembly, arms and clothing for a half-year. 
And we command this in general, that you cause it to be observed 
that you proceed peacefully to the aforesaid place, through what- 
ever part of our realm your journey shall take you, that is, that 
you presume to take nothing except fodder, wood and water; and 
let the men of each one of your vassals march along with the 
carts and horsemen, and let the leader always be with them until 
they reach the aforesaid place, so that the absence of a lord may 
not give an opportunity to his men of doing evil. 

Send your gifts, which you ought to present to us at our 
assembly in the middle of the month of May, to the place where 
we then shall be; if perchance your journey shall so shape itself 
that on your march you are able in person to present these gifts 
of yours to us, we greatly desire it. See that you show no negli- 
gence in the future if you desire to have our favor. 


Boretius, No. 29, p. 78. Latin. 

Charles, by the grace of God, King of the Franks and Lombards 
and Patrician of the Romans, to Abbot Baugulf and to all the con- 
gregation, also to the faithful committed to you, we have directed 
a loving greeting by our ambassadors in the name of omnipotent 

Be it known, therefore, to your devotion pleasing to God, that 
we, together with our faithful, have considered it to be useful that 
the bishoprics and monasteries entrusted by the favor of Christ to 
our control, in addition to the order of monastic life and the inter- 
course of holy religion, in the culture of letters also ought to be 
zealous in teaching those who by the gift of God are able to learn, 
according to the capacity of each individual, so that just as the 
observance of the rule imparts order and grace to honesty of 
morals, so also zeal in teaching and learning may do the same for 


sentences, so that those who desire to please God by living rightly 
should not neglect to please him also by speaking correctly. For 
it is written: "Either from thy words thou shalt be justified or 
from thy words thou shalt be condemned." l For although cor- 
rect conduct may be better than knowledge, nevertheless knowl- 
edge precedes conduct. Therefore, each one ought to study what 
he desires to accomplish, so that so much the more fully the mind 
may know what ought to be done, as the tongue hastens in the 
praises of omnipotent God without the hindrances of errors. ' For 
since errors should be shunned by all men, so much the more 
ought they to be avoided as far as possible by those who are 
chosen for this very purpose alone, so that they ought to be the 
especial servants of truth. For when in the years just passed 
letters were often written to us from several monasteries in which 
it was stated that the brethren who dwelt there offered up in our 
behalf sacred and pious prayers, we have recognized in most of 
these letters both correct thoughts and uncouth expressions; be- 
cause what pious devotion dictated faithfully to the mind, the 
tongue, uneducated on account of the neglect of study, was not 
able to express in the letter without error. "W hence it happened 
that we began to fear lest perchance, as the skill in writing was 
less, so also the wisdom for understanding the Holy Scriptures 
might be much less than it rightly ought to be. 1 And we all 
know well that, although errors of speech are dangerous, far 
more dangerous are errors of the understanding. Therefore, we 
exhort you not only not to neglect the stiKty of letters, but also 
with most humble mind, pleasing to God, to study earnestly in 
order that you may be able more easily and more correctly to 
penetrate the mysteries of the divine Scriptures. Since, more- 
over, images, tropes and similar figures are found in the sacred 
pages, no one doubts that each one in reading these will under- 
stand the spiritual sense more quickly if previously he shall have 
been fully instructed in the mastery of letters. Such men truly 
are to be chosen for this work as have both the will and the ability 
to learn and a desire to instruct others. And may this be done 
with a zeal as great as the earnestness with which we command it. 
For we desire you to be, as it is fitting that soldiers of the church 
should be, devout in mind, learned in discourse, chaste in conduct 

1 Matthew, xii. 37. , 


and eloquent in speech, so that whosoever shall seek to see you 
out of reverence for God, or on account of your reputation for holy 
conduct, just as he is edified by your appearance, may also be in- 
structed by your wisdom, which he has learned from your reading 
or singing, and may go away joyfully giving thanks to omnipotent 
God. Do not neglect, therefore, if you wish to have our favor, to 
send copies of this letter to all your suffragans and fellow-bishops 
and to all the monasteries. [And let no monk hold courts outside 
of his monastery or go to the judicial and other public assem- 
blies. Farewell. (Lege?ts valeat.)~\ 

Karoli Epistola Generalis. 786-800. 
Boretius, No. 30, p. 80. Latin. 

Charles, confiding in the aid of God, King of the Franks and 
Lombards, and Patrician of the Romans, to the religious lectors 
subject to our power. 

Since the divine clemency always guards us at home and 
abroad, in the issues of war or in the tranquillity of peace, though 
human insignificance is in no way able to pay back His benefits, 
nevertheless, because our God is inestimable in His mercy, He 
approves benignly the goodwill of those devoted to His service. 
Therefore, because we take care constantly to improve the con- 
dition of our churches, we have striven with watchful zeal to ad- 
vance the cause of learning, which has been almost forgotten by 
the negligence of our ancestors; and, by our example, also we 
invite those whom we can to master the study of the liberal arts. 
Accordingly, God aiding us in all things, we have already cor- 
rected carefully all the books of the Old and New Testaments, 
corrupted by the ignorance of the copyists. 

Incited, moreover, by the example of our father Pippin, of 
venerated memory, who by his zeal decorated all the churches of 
the Gauls with the songs of the Roman church, we are careful by 
our skill to make these churches illustrious by a series of excel- 
lent lectionaries. Finally, because we have found the lectionaries 
for the nocturnal offices, compiled by the fruitless labor of certain 
ones, in spite of their correct intention, unsuitable because they 
were written without the words of their authors and were full of 
an infinite number of errors, we cannot suffer in our days discord- 
ant solecisms to glide into the sacred lessons among the holy 
offices, and we purpose to improve these lessons. And we have 


entrusted this work to Paul the deacon, our friend and client. 
We have directed him to peruse carefully the sayings of the cath- 
olic fathers and to choose, so to speak, from the most broad 
meadows of their writings certain flowers, and from the most use- 
ful to form, as it were, a single garland. He, desiring to obey de- 
voutly our highness, has read through the treatises and sermons 
of the different catholic fathers, has chosen from each the best, 
and has presented to us in two volumes lessons suitable for the 
whole year and for each separate festival, and free from error. 
We have examined the text of all these with our wisdom, we have 
established these volumes by our authority, and we deliver them 
to your religion to be read in the churches of Christ. 1 

Admonitio Generalis. y8g. 
Boretius, No. 22, pp. 59-60. Latin. 
Ch. 72. And we also demand of your holiness that the ministers 
of the altar of God shall adorn their ministry by good manners, and 
likewise the other orders who observe a rule and the congregations 
of monks. We implore them to lead a just and fitting life, just as 
God Himself commanded in the Gospel. 2 "Let your light so 
shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify 
your Father which is in heaven," so that by their example many 
may be led to serve God; and let them join and associate to 
themselves not only children of servile condition, but also sons of 
free men. And let schools be established in which boys may 
learn to read. Correct carefully the Psalms, the signs in writing 
(notas), the songs, the calendar, the grammar, in each monastery 
or bishopric, and the catholic books; because often some desire to 
pray to God properly, but they pray badly because of the incorrect 
books. And do not permit your boys to corrupt them in reading 
or writing. If there is need of writing the Gospel, Psalter and 
Missal, let men of mature age do the writing with all diligence. 

Capitulare Missorum. 803. 
Boretius, No. 40, p. 115. Latin. 
Ch. 2. Priests shall not be ordained without an examination. 8 

1 Cf. Ebert, Literatur des Mittelalters, Vol. II, p. 47, for long continued 
use of Paul's compilation. 
"Matthew, v. 16. 
8 See Boretius, pp. 234 and 235, for what priests were required to know. 


And excommunications shall not be ordered at random and with- 
out cause. 

Capitulare Missorum. 802-813. 
Boretius, No. 60, p. 147. Latin. 

Ch. 2. [We will and command] that laymen shall learn thor- 
oughly the creed and the Lord's prayer. 

Boretius, No. 33, pp. 91-99. Latin. 

First chapter. Concerning the embassy sent out by the lord 
emperor. Therefore, the most serene and most Christian lord 
emperor Charles has chosen from his nobles the wisest and most 
prudent men, both archbishops and some of the other bishops 
also, and venerable abbots and pious laymen, and has sent them 
throughout his whole kingdom, and through them by all the fol- 
lowing chapters has allowed men to live in accordance with the 
correct law. Moreover, where anything which is not right and 
just has been enacted in the law, he has ordered them to inquire 
into this most diligently and to inform him of it; he desires, God 
granting, to reform it. And let no one, through his cleverness or 
astuteness, dare to oppose or thwart the written law, as many are 
wont to do, or the judicial sentence passed upon him, or to do 
injury to the churches of God or the poor or the widows or the 
wards or any Christian. But all shall live entirely in accordance 
with God's precept, justly and under a just rule, and each one 
shall be admonished to live in harmony with his fellows in his bus- 
iness or profession; the canonical clergy ought to observe in every 
respect a canonical life without heeding base gain, nuns ought to 
keep diligent watch over their lives, laymen and the secular 
clergy ought rightly to observe their laws without malicious 
fraud, and all ought to live in mutual charity and perfect peace. 
And let the missi themselves make a diligent investigation when- 
ever any man claims that an injustice has been done to him by 
any one, just as they desire to deserve the grace of omnipotent 
God and to keep their fidelity promised to Him, so that entirely 
in all cases everywhere, in accordance with the will and fear of 
God, the}'- shall administer the law fully and justly in the case of 
the holy churches of God and of the poor, of wards and widows 


and of the whole people. And if there shall be anything of such 
a nature that they, together with the provincial counts, are not 
able of themselves to correct it and to do justice concerning it, they 
shall, without any ambiguity, refer this, together with their re- 
ports, to the judgment of the emperor; and the straight path of 
justice shall not be impeded by any one on account of flattery or 
gifts from any one, or on account of any relationship, or from fear 
of the powerful. 

2. Concerning the fidelity to be promised to- the lord emperor. 
And he commanded that every man in his whole kingdom, 
whether ecclesiastic or layman, and each one according to his vow 
and occupation, should now promise to him as emperor the fidel- 
ity which he had previously promised to him as king; and all of 
those who had not yet made that promise should do likewise, 
down to those who were twelve years old. And that it shall be 
announced to all in public, so that each one might know, how 
great and how many things are comprehended in that oath; not 
merely, as- many have thought hitherto, fidelity to the lord em- 
peror as regards his life, and not introducing any enemy into his 
kingdom out of enmity, and not consenting- to or concealing an- 
other's faithlessness to him; but that all may know that this oath 
contains in itself this meaning: 

3. First, that each one voluntarily shall strive, in accordance 
with his knowledge and ability, to live wholly in the holy service 
of God in accordance with the precept of God and in accordance 
with his own promise, because the lord emperor is unable to give 
to all individually the necessary care and discipline. 

4. Secondly, that no man, either through perjury or an}' other 
wile or fraud, on account of the flattery or gift of any one, shall 
refuse to give back or dare to abstract or conceal a serf of the lord 
emperor or a district or land or anything that belongs to him ; and 
that no one shall presume, through perjury or other wile, to con- 
ceal or abstract his fugitive fiscaline serfs who unjustly and frau- 
dulently say that the}' are free. 

5. That no one shall presume to rob or do any injury fraudu- 
lently to the churches of God or widows or orphans or pilgrims; 
for the lord emperor himself, after God and His saints, has consti- 
tuted himself their protector and defender. 

6. That no one shall dare to lay waste a benefice of the lord 
emperor, or to make it his own property. 


7. That no one shall presume to neglect a summons to war from 
the lord emperor; and that no one of the counts shall be so pre- 
sumptuous as to dare to dismiss thence any one of those who owe 
military service, either on account of relationship or flattery or 
gifts from any one. 

8. That no one shall presume to impede at all in any way a ban 
or command of the lord emperor, or to dally with his work or to 
impede or to lessen or in any way to act contrary to his will or 
commands. And that no one shall dare to neglect to pay his 
dues or tax. 

9. That no one, for any reason, shall make a practice in court 
of defending another unjustly, either from any desire of gain when 
the cause is weak, or by impeding a just judgment by his skill in 
reasoning, or by a desire of oppressing when the cause is weak. 
But each one shall answ r er for his own cause or tax or debt unless 
any one is infirm or ignorant of pleading; for these the missi or 
the chiefs who are in the court or the judge who knows the case 
in question shall plead before the court; or if it is necessary, such 
a person may be allowed as is acceptable to all and knows the case 
well; but this shall be done wholly according to the convenience 
of the chiefs or missi who are present. But in every case it shall 
be done in accordance with justice and the law; and that no one 
shall have the power to impede justice by a gift, reward, or any 
kind of evil flattery or from any hindrance of relationship. And 
that no one shall unjustly consent to another in anything, but 
that with all zeal and goodwill all shall be prepared to carry out 

For all the above mentioned ought to be observed by the impe- 
rial oath. 

10. That bishops and priests shall live according to the canons 
and shall teach others to do the same. 

11. That bishops, abbots, abbesses, who are in charge of others, 
with the greatest veneration shall strive to surpass their subjects 
in this diligence and shall not oppress their subjects with a harsh 
rule or tyranny, but with sincere love shall carefully guard the 
flock committed to them with mercy and charity or by the exam- 
ples of good works. 

12. That abbots shall live where the monks are and wholly 


with the monks, in accordance with the rule, and shall diligently 
learn and observe the canons; the abbesses shall do the same. 

13. That bishops, abbots and abbesses shall have advocates, 
vicars and cente7iarii x who know the law and love justice, who are 
pacific and merciful, so that through these greater profit or ad- 
vantage may accrue to the holy church of God; because we are 
entirely unwilling to have in the monasteries harmful and greedy 
provosts and advocates, from whom greater blasphemy or injury 
may arise for us. But they shall be such as the canonical or reg- 
ular institution orders them to be, submissive to the will of God 
and always ready to render justice to all, fully observing the law 
without malicious fraud, always exercising a just judgment in the 
case of all, such provosts indeed as the holy rule teaches that 
they should be. And let them wholly observe this, that they 
shall in no way deviate from the canonical or regular norm, 2 but 
shall exhibit humility in all things. If, moreover, they shall 
have presumed to do otherwise, let them feel the discipline of the 
rule; and if they shall have been unwilling to amend their ways, 
they shall be removed from the provostship, and those who are 
more worthy shall be appointed in their places. 

14. That bishops, abbots and abbesses, and counts shall be 
mutually in accord, following the law in order to render a just 
judgment with all charity and unity of peace, and that they shall 
live faithfully in accordance with the will of God, so that always 
everywhere through them and among them a just judgment shall 
be rendered. The poor, widows, orphans and pilgrims shall have 
consolation and defence from them; so that we, through their 
good-will, may deserve the reward of eternal life rather than pun- 

15. We will and command in every way that abbots and monks 
shall be subject to their bishops in all humilit}^ and obedience, 
just as is commanded by the canonical constitution. And all the 
churches and basilicas shall remain in the defense and power of 
the church. And no one shall dare to divide or to cast lots con- 

1 A centenarius is the ruler of a centena ; the latter is a subdivision of a 
province or county. 

2 The Latin reads: ut nullatenus a quibus tnagis nobis a canonica vel reg- 
ulari norma discendant. I have omitted a quibus magis nobis because I 
could not translate it. 


cerning the property of the basilicas. And what has once been 
offered shall not be taken back, and shall be sanctified and shall 
be claimed as legal property. But if any one shall have presumed 
to do otherwise he shall pay and make good our ban. And the 
monks shall be corrected by the bishops of their province; but if 
they do not amend their ways then the archbishop shall summon 
them to the synod; and if even then they shall not have amended 
their ways, then they shall come together with their bishop to 
our presence. 

1 6. Concerning choosing men for ordination, just as the lord 
emperor had formerly granted it, by the law of the Franks, to the 
bishops and abbots, so he has also now confirmed it; nevertheless, 
in this manner, so that neither a bishop nor an abbot in a monas- 
tery shall prefer the more worthless to the better, and he shall not 
desire to advance any one before his betters on account of relation- 
ship or any flattery, and that he shall not lead such an one to us 
to be ordained when he has a better concealed and kept back; we 
are in no way willing that this should be done, because it seems 
to be a mockery and deceit of us. But in the monasteries men 
of such a character are to be prepared for ordination that reward 
and profit may accrue both to us and to those who recommend 

17. Moreover, that the monks shall live firmly and strictly in 
accordance with the rule, because we know that any one whose 
goodwill is lukewarm is displeasing to God, as John bears witness 
in the Apocalypse: 1 "I would that thou wert cold or hot. So 
then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will 
spue thee out of my mouth." Let them in no way usurp to 
themselves secular business. They shall not have leave to go 
outside of their monastery at all, unless compelled by a very great 
necessity; but nevertheless the bishops, in whose diocese they 
shall be, shall take care in every way that they do not get accus- 
tomed to wandering outside of the monastery. But if it shall be 
necessary for any one to go outside in obedience to a command, 
and this shall be done with the counsel and consent of the bishop, 
persons of such character shall be sent out with a certificate, that 
there may be no suspicion of evil in them and that no evil report 
may arise from them. For the property and business outside of 

x Rev., iii. 15, 16. 


the monastery the abbot, with the permission and counsel of the 
bishop, shall ordain who shall provide, not a monk, but another 
of the faithful. 1 Let them wholly shun secular gain or a desire 
for worldly affairs, because avarice or a desire for this world ought 
to be shunned by all Christians, but especially by those who seem 
to have renounced the world and its lusts. Let no one presume 
in any way to incite strifes and controversies, either within or 
outside of the monastery. But if any one shall have presumed to 
do so, he shall be corrected b}' the most severe discipline of the 
rule and in such a manner that others shall fear to commit such 
actions. Let them entirely shun drunkenness and feasting, be- 
cause it is known to all that from these men are especially pol- 
luted by lust. For a most pernicious rumor has come to our ears 
that man}' in the monasteries have already been detected in forni- 
cation and in abomination and uncleanness. It especially saddens 
and disturbs us that it can be said, without a great mistake, that 
some of the monks are understood to be sodomites, so that whereas 
the greatest hope of salvation to all Christians is believed to arise 
from the life and chastity of the monks, damage has been incurred 
instead. Therefore, we also ask and urge that henceforth all 
shall most earnestly strive with all diligence to preserve them- 
selves from these evils, so that never again such a report shall be 
brought to our ears. And let this be known to all, that we in no 
way dare to consent to those evils in any other place in our whole 
kingdom; so much the less, indeed, in the persons of those whom 
we desire to be examples of chastity and moral purity. Certainly, 
if any such report shall have come to our ears in the future, we 
shall inflict such a penalty, not only on the guilty but also on 
those who have consented to such deeds, that no Christian who 
shall have heard of it will ever dare in the future to perpetrate 
such acts. 

1 8. Monasteries for women shall be firmly ruled, and the women 
shall not be permitted to wander about at all, but they shall be 
guarded with all diligence, and they shall not presume to arouse 
litigations or strife among themselves, nor shall the}' dare to be 
disobedient or refractory in any way toward their rulers and 
abbesses. Where, moreover, they have a rule, let them observe 
it in every respect; let them not be given to fornication or drunk- 

1 The Latin reads non monachum nisi alhim Udelem. 


enness or lust, but let them live justly and soberly in every re- 
spect. And into their cloisters or monasteries let no man enter, 
except when the priest enters with a witness to visit the sick, or 
for the mass alone; and let him immediately go forth. And let 
no one from another place enroll his daughter in the congregation 
of the nuns without the knowledge and consideration of the 
bishop to whose diocese that place pertains; and the latter shall 
diligently inquire why she desires to remain in the holy service of 
God, and shall confirm her residence or profession in that place. 
Moreover, maid-servants belonging to other men, or such women 
as are [not] willing to live in the holy congregation in accordance 
with its manner of life, shall be wholly cast out from the congre- 

19. That no bishops, abbots, priests, deacons, or other members 
of the clergy shall presume to have dogs for hunting, or hawks, 
falcons and sparrow-hawks, but each shall observe fully the can- 
ons or rule of his order. If anj^ one shall presume to do so, let 
him know that he shall lose his office. And in addition he shall 
suffer such punishment for it that the others will be afraid to 
usurp such things for themselves. 

20. That abbesses, together with their nuns, shall live within 
the cloisters in concord and watchfully, and shall never presume 
to go outside of their cloisters. But if the abbesses wish to send 
any nuns out of the cloisters, they shall not do this without the 
consent and advice of their bishops. Likewise, also, when there 
ought to be any ordinations or receptions in the monasteries, they 
shall previously discuss these fully with their bishops; and the 
bishops shall announce to the archbishop what seems the safer or 
more useful way, and with his advice they shall perform what 
ought to be done. 

21. That priests and the remaining canonical clergy, whom 
they have as associates in their ministry, shall be wholly subject 
to their bishops, as the canonical institution orders; let them con- 
sent to be taught the sacred discipline fully by their bishops, as 
they desire to have our favor or their own offices. 

22. Moreover, the canonical clergy shall observe fully the 
canonical life, and shall be instructed at the episcopal residence or 
in the monastery with all diligence according to the canonical dis- 
cipline. They shall not be permitted to wander outside at all, 
but shall live under strict guardianship, not given to base gain, 


not fornicators, not thieves, not homicides, not robbers, not quar- 
relsome, not wrathful, not proud, not drunken, but with a chaste 
heart and body, humble, modest, sober, merciful, pacific, that as 
sons of God they may be worthy to be promoted in the sacred 
order; not in the villages or villas near to or adjoining the 
churches, without a master and without discipline, like those who 
are called sarabaites, living in luxury or fornication or other in- 
iquity, to consent to which is absurd. 

23. The priests shall carefully watch over the clerks whom they 
have with them, that the latter live according to the canons; that 
they are not given to vain sports or worldly convivialities or songs 
or luxuries; but that they live chastely and healthfully. 

24. If, moreover, any priest or deacon shall presume hereafter 
to have with him in his house any women except those whom 
the canonical license permits, he shall be deprived of both his 
office and inheritance until he be brought to our presence. 

25. That counts and cenienarii shall compel all to do justice in 
every respect, and shall have such assistants in their ministries as 
they can securely confide in, who will observe law and justice 
faithfully, who will oppress the poor in no manner, who will not 
dare under any pretext, on account of flattery or reward, to con- 
ceal thieves, robbers, murderers, adulterers, magicians, wizards 
or witches, and all sacrilegious men, but instead will give them 
up that they may be punished and chastised in accordance with 
the law, so that, God granting it, all of these evils may be re- 
moved from the Christian people. 

26. That judges shall judge justly in accordance with the 
written law, and not according to their own will. 

27. And we command that no one in our whole kingdom shall 
dare to deny hospitality to rich or poor or pilgrims, that is, no one 
shall deny shelter and fire and water to pilgrims traversing our 
country in God's name, or to anyone travelling for the love of 
God or for the safety of his own soul. If, moreover, any one 
shall wish to serve them farther, let him expect the best reward 
from God, who Himself said: "And whoso shall receive one such 
little child in my name, receiveth me;" 1 and elsewhere: "I was 
a stranger and ye took me in." * 

1 Matthew, xviii. 5. * Matthew, xxv. 35. 


28. Concerning embassies coming from the lord emperor. That 
the counts and centenarii shall provide most carefully, as they 
desire the grace of the lord emperor, for the missi who are sent 
out, so that they may go through their departments without any 
delay; and he commands to all everywhere that they ought to see 
to it that no delay is encountered anywhere, but they shall cause 
them to go on their way in all haste and shall provide for them 
in such a manner as our missi may direct. 

29. Concerning the poor to whom in his mercy the lord emperor 
has granted the ban which they ought to pay, that the judges, 
counts or our missi shall not, for their own advantage, have the 
power to compel them to pay the fine which has been granted to 

30. Concerning those whom the lord emperor wishes, Christ 
being propitious, to enjoy peace and protection in his kingdom, 
namely, those who are hastening to his clemency, either Chris- 
tians or pagans, because they desire to announce some news, or 
seeking his aid on account of their poverty or hunger, that no one 
shall dare to constrain them to serve him, or to seize them, or 
alienate or sell them; but wherever they may wish to remain 
voluntarily, there under the defence of the lord emperor they 
shall be aided in his mercy. If any one shall have presumed to 
act contrary to this, let him who has so presumptuously despised 
the commands of the lord emperor, know that he shall suffer the 
loss of his life for it. 

31. And against those who announce the justice of the lord 
emperor, let no one presume to plot any injury or damage, or to 
stir up any enmity. But if any one shall have presumed, let him 
pay the imperial ban or, if he deserves a heavier punishment, it 
is commanded that he shall be brought to the emperor's presence. 

32. Murders, by which a multitude of the Christian people 
perishes, we command in every way to be shunned and to be for- 
bidden; God Himself forbade to His followers hatred and enmity, 
much more murder. For in what manner does any one trust to 
placate God, who has killed his son nearest to him? In what 
manner truly does he, who has killed his brother, think that the 
Lord Christ will be propitious to him ? It is a great and terrible 
danger also with God the Father and Christ, Lord of heaven and 
earth, to stir up enmities among men : it is possible to escape for 
some time by remaining concealed, but nevertheless by accident 


at some time he falls into the hands of his enemies ; moreover, 
where is it possible to flee from God, to whom all secrets are 
manifest? By what rashness does any one think to escape His 
anger? Wherefore, lest the people committed to us to be ruled 
over should perish from this evil, we have taken care to shun this 
by every means of discipline ; because he who shall not have 
dreaded the wrath of God, shall find us in no way propitious or to 
be placated ; but we wish to inflict the most severe punishment 
upon any one who shall have dared to murder a man. Neverthe- 
less, lest sin should also increase, in order that the greatest 
enmities may not arise among Christians, when by the persuasions 
of the devil murders happen, the criminal shall immediately 
hasten to make amends and with all celerity shall pay the fitting 
composition for the evil done to the relatives of the murdered 
man. And we forbid firmly, that the relatives of the murdered 
man shall dare in any way to continue their enmities on account 
of the evil done, or shall refuse to grant peace to him who asks 
it, but having given their pledges they shall receive the fitting com- 
position and shall make a perpetual peace ; moreover, the guilty 
one shall not de^ to pay the composition. When, moreover, it 
shall have happened on account of sins that any one shall have 
killed his brethren or his neighbor, he shall immediately submit 
to the penance imposed upon him, and just as his bishop arranges 
for him, without any ambiguity ; but by God's aid he shall desire 
to accomplish his atonement and he shall compound for the dead 
man in accordance with the law, and shall make peace in every 
way with his relatives ; and the pledge being given, let no one 
dare thereafter to stir up enmity against him. But if any one 
shall have scorned to make the fitting composition, he shall be 
deprived of his property until we shall render our decision. 

33. We prohibit in every way the crime of incest. But if any 
one shall have been contaminated by sinful fornication, he shall 
b}- no means be released without severe punishment, but for this 
he shall be corrected in such a manner that others shall fear to do 
likewise and that uncleanness shall be wholly removed from the 
Christian people, and that the guilty man shall fully atone for 
this by penance, just as his bishop shall arrange for him ; and 
the woman shall be placed in the hands of her parents until we 
render our judgment. But if he shall have been unwilling to 
consent to the judgment of the bishops concerning his amend- 


rnent, then he shall be brought to our presence, mindful of the 
example which was made concerning the incest which Fricco 
perpetrated with the nun of God. 

34. That all shall be fully and well prepared, whenever our 
order or proclamation shall come. But if any one shall then say 
that he was unprepared and shall have neglected our command, 
he shall be brought to the palace ; and not only he, but also all 
who dare to transgress our ban or command. 

35. That all shall wholly venerate their bishops and priests 
with all honor in the service and will of God. That they shall 
not dare to pollute themselves and others by incestuous nuptials; 
that they shall not presume to be married before the bishops and 
priests together with the elders of the people have inquired dili- 
gently into the consanguinity of those marrying ; and then they 
shall be married with a benediction. Let them shun drunkenness, 
avoid greed, commit no theft ; let them wholly shun strifes and 
contentions and blasphemies, both at feasts and assemblies, but 
let them live in charity and concord. 

36. And that all shall be entirely of one mind with our missi 
in performing justice in every respect. And that they shall 
not permit the use of perjury at all, for it is necessary that this 
most evil crime shall be removed from the Christian people. But 
if any one after this shall have been proved a perjurer, let him 
know that he shall lose his right hand ; and they shall be de- 
prived of their property until we shall render our decision. 

37. That those who shall have been guilty of patricide or 
fratricide, or who shall have killed a maternal or paternal uncle 
or any other relative, and shall have been unwilling to obey and 
consent to the judgment of the bishops, priests and other judges, 
our missi and counts, for the safety of their own souls and in 
order to bring about a just judgment, shall be kept in such custody 
that they may be safe and may not infect other people until they 
are led to our presence ; and from their own property in the mean- 
time they shall have nothing. 

38. And let this likewise be done with those who have been 
seized in illegal and incestuous unions and corrected, and who 
are not willing to amend their ways nor to obey their bishops and 
priests, and who presume to despise our ban. 

39. That in our forests no one shall dare to steal our game, 
which we have already many times forbidden to be done ; and 


now we again strictly forbid that any one shall do so in the future; 
just as each one desires to preserve the fidelity promised to us, so 
let him take heed to himself. But if any count or cenienaritis or 
our bassus or any one of our ministerial shall have stolen our 
game, he shall be brought to our presence without fail to render 
account. But if any one of the remaining people shall have 
stolen our game, let him without fail pay what is just ; let no one 
hereafter be released from this on any account. But if any one 
knows that this has been done by another, let him not dare to 
conceal this, in order that he may preserve the fidelity which he 
has promised to us and which he now has to promise. 

40. Lastly, therefore, we desire all our decrees to be known in 
our whole kingdom through our missi now sent out, either among 
the men of the church, bishops, abbots, priests, deacons, canons, 
all monks or nuns, so that each one in his ministry or profession 
may keep our ban or decree, or where it may be fitting to thank 
the citizens for their good will, or to furnish aid, or where there 
may be need still of correcting anything. Likewise also to the 
laymen and in all places everywhere, whether they concern the 
guardianship of the holy churches or of widows and orphans and 
the weaker ; or the robbing of them ; or the arrangements for the 
assembling of the army ; or any other matters ; how they are to 
be obedient to our precept and will, or how they observe our 
ban, or how each one strives in all things to keep himself in the 
holy service of God ; so that all these good things may be well 
done to the praise of omnipotent God, and we may return thanks 
where it is fitting. But where we believe there is anything un- 
punished, we shall so strive to correct it with all our zeal and will 
that with God's aid we may bring it to correction, both for our 
own eternal glory and that of all our faithful. Likewise we de- 
sire all the above to be fruitfully known by our counts or cen- 
tenarii, our ministerials. 

Boretius, No. 45, pp. 126-130. Latin. 
In the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. Charles 
most serene Augustus, great and pacific Emperor crowned by 
God, governing the Roman Empire, and also by the mercy of 
God King of the Franks and Lombards, to all the faithful of the 
holy church of God and to our subjects present and future. 


As we believe it is known to all of you and hidden from none 
of you how the divine clemency, by whose will earthly tendencies 
to decay are checked through successive generations, has of His 
great mercy and kindness richly endowed us by giving to us three 
sons, because through them in accordance with our vows and 
our hopes He has strengthened the kingdom and has made the 
chance of oblivion in the future less; accordingly we wish to make 
this known to you, namely, that we desire to have these our sons 
by the grace of God as associates in the kingdom granted to us 
by God as long as we live, and after our departure from this life 
we desire to have them as heirs of the empire preserved and pro- 
tected by God and of our kingdom, if this is the will of the divine 
majesty. In order that we may not leave it to them in confusion 
and disorder or provoke strife and litigation by giving them the 
whole kingdom without division, we have caused to be described 
and designated the portion which each one of them ought to en- 
joy and rule; in this manner forsooth so that each one, content 
with his own portion in accordance with our ordination, may 
strive with the aid of God to defend the frontiers of his kingdom 
and preserve peace and charity with his brothers. 

1. It has pleased us to divide the empire, preserved and protected 
by God, and onr kingdom so that to our beloved son Louis we 
have assigned the whole of Aquitaine and Gascony, except the 
province of Tours, and whatever is beyond to the west and towards 
Spain and from the city Nevers, which is situated on the river 
Loire, with the province of Nevers, the province of Avallon and 
Auxois, Chalon, Macon, Lyons, Savoy, Maurienne, Tarantaise, 
Mont Cenis, the valley of Susa to the Clusce and thence from 
the Italian mountains to the sea, these provinces with their 
cities and whatever is beyond these on the south and west as far 
as the sea or Spain, that is that portion of Burgundy and Pro- 
vence and Septimania or Gothia. 

2. To our beloved son Pippin Italy, which is also called Lom- 
bardy and Bavaria, just as Tassilo held it, with the exception of 
the two villas of Ingolstadt and Lauterhofen which we formerly 
gave to Tassilo as a benefice and which belong to the district which 
is called the Northgau, and from Alemannia the part which is on 
the south bank of the river Danube, and from the source of the 
Danube in a direct line as far as the river Rhine on the boundary 
of the districts of Klettgau and Hegau at the place which is called 


Enge, and thence up the river Rhine to the Alps; whatever is 
within these limits and extending to the south or east together 
with the duchy of Chur and the canton of Thurgau. 

3. To our beloved son Charles moreover we have granted all of 
our kingdom that is outside of these limits, that is France and 
Burgundy, except that part which we have given to Louis, and 
Alemannia, except the portion which we have assigned to Pippin, 
Austria and Neustria, Thuringen, Saxony, Friesland, and the 
part of Bavaria which is called the Northgau; so that Charles and 
Louis may be able to go into Italy to bear aid to their brother, if 
such a necessity should arise, Charles by the valley of the Aosta 
which is in his kingdom and Louis by the valley of the Susa; 
Pippin also has the means of ingress and exit by the Norican 
Alps and Chur. 

4. Moreover we have arranged these dispositions in such a 
manner that if Charles, who is our eldest son, should die before 
his other brothers, the part of the kingdom which he held shall 
be divided between Pippin and Louis, just as formerly it was 
divided between us and our brother Karlmann, in such wise that 
Pippin may have that portion which our brother Karlmann had, 
and Louis may receive that part which we obtained in that ap- 

But if during the lifetime of Charles and Louis, Pippin should 
pay the debt of nature, Charles and Louis shall divide between 
them the kingdom which he had, and this division shall be made 
in such a manner that from the entrance of Italy by the city of 
Aosta, Charles shall receixe Ivrea, Vercelli, Pavia, and thence 
along the river Po, following its course to the territory of Reggio 
and Reggio itself, and Cittanuova and Modena up to the bound- 
ary of the territory of St. Peter. These cities with their suburbs 
and territories and the counties which belong to them, and what- 
ever is beyond towards Rome on the left, from the kingdom which 
Pippin had, together with the duchy of Spoleto, let Charles re- 
ceive this portion just as we have described it; but of the afore- 
said kingdom whatever from the aforesaid cities or counties lies 
on the right as one goes towards Rome, that is, the portion which 
remains from the region beyond the Po, together with the duchy 
of Tuscany as far as the southern sea and Provence, Louis shall 
receive to increase his kingdom. 

But if Louis shall die during the lifetime of the others, Pippin 


shall receive that part of Burgundy which we have joined to the 
kingdom of Louis together with Provence and Septimania or 
Gothia, as far as Spain; and Charles shall receive Aquitaine and 

5. But if a son shall have been born to any one of these three 
brothers, whom the people wishes to elect so that he may succeed 
his father in his kingdom, we wish that the uncles of the boy shall 
consent to this and shall permit the son of their brother to rule in 
the portion of the kingdom which his father, their brother, held. 

6. After this disposition by our authority it has pleased us to 
decree and command in the case of our aforesaid sons, for the sake 
of the peace which we desire to be perpetual among them, that no 
one of them shall presume to invade the frontiers or boundaries of 
his brother's kingdom, or fraudulently enter to disturb his king- 
dom or diminish his territory, but each of them shall help his 
brother and shall bear aid to him against his enemies, either 
within the country or against foreign nations, so far as the occa- 
sion may demand and he may be able. 

7. Nor shall any one of them receive a vassal of his brother, 
who may flee to him for any cause or crime whatsoever, nor shall 
he intercede for that one, because we will that any man who sins 
and needs intercession shall flee either to the sacred places or to 
honorable men within the kingdom of his lord, and thence shall 
merit a just intercession. 

8. Likewise we command that if any free man shall have de- 
serted his lord against the will of the latter and shall have gone 
from one kingdom into another, neither shall the king himself re- 
ceive such a man nor consent to his vassals receiving the man or 
daring unjustly to retain him. 

9. Wherefore it seems fitting to us to command that after our 
departure from this life the vassals of each one of them shall re- 
ceive benefices only in the kingdom of his lord and not in the 
kingdom of another, lest perchance if it should be otherwise some 
trouble might arise. But each one of their vassals shall have, 
without contradiction, any inheritance that may fall to him in 
whatsoever kingdom he may happen to have it lawfully. 

10. And each free man, after the death of his lord, shall be 
allowed to commend himself within these three kingdoms to 
whomsoever he shall have chosen; likewise, also, he who has not 
yet commended himself to any one. 


ii. \ Concerning cessions and sales, such as are wont to be made, 
we command that no one of these three brothers shall acquire, by- 
cession or purchase from any individual, real estate in the king- 
dom of another, that is, land, vineyards, forests, and serfs of the 
glebe or other things comprised under the name of inheritable 
property, except gold, silver, jewels, arms, clothing, serfs not 
bound to the soil, and such things as are recognized to be prop- 
erly negotiable. But we have decided that this should not be in- 
terdicted at all to other free men. 

12. If, moreover, women, as is wont to happen, shall be sought 
in legitimate marriage by men from another kingdom, their just 
demands shall not be denied, but they shall be allowed both to 
give and receive the women, and to bind the peoples together by 
ties of relationship. And the women themselves shall keep pos- 
session of their property in the kingdom from which they had 
gone, although they ought to live in another for the sake of their 
husband's society. 

13. Concerning the hostages who have been given as pledges 
and who have been sent by us to different places to be guarded, 
we will that that king in whose kingdom they are shall not permit 
them to return to their native country without the consent of his 
brother from whose kingdom they have been taken, but, on the 
other hand, in the future each shall mutually aid the other in re- 
ceiving hostages, if one brother shall have made a reasonable re- 
quest of another; also we order the same concerning those who 
have been sent into exile for their crimes or who shall be sent. 

14. If such a strife or contention or controversy as to boundaries 
or limits of the kingdoms shall have arisen between the divisions, 
that it cannot be settled or ended by the evidence of men, then we 
will that, in order to settle the doubtful question, the will of God 
and the truth of the matter shall be sought by the ordeal of the 
cross, and such a contention shall never be judged by a duel of 
any kind or a judicial combat. If, indeed, any vassal from one 
kingdom, in the presence of his lord, shall have accused a vassal 
from another kingdom of infidelity against the brother of his lord, 
let his lord send him to the brother so that he may there prove 
what he has said concerning the vassal of the latter. 

15. Above all, moreover, we order and command that the three 
brothers in person shall undertake in common the care and de- 
fense of the church of St. Peter, just as it was done formerly by 


our grandfather, Charles, and by our father, king Pippin, of 
blessed memory, and afterwards by us, so that with the aid of God 
they may strive to defend it against its enemies and may cause it 
to have its just dues, as far as shall be in their power and as reason 
shall demand. Likewise, also, concerning the other churches 
which shall be under their power, we command that these shall 
have their just dues and honor, and the pastors and rectors of ven- 
erable places shall have power over the property which pertains 
to the holy places themselves in whichsoever of those three king- 
doms the possessions of those churches shall be. 

1 6. But if there shall have been any infringement upon these 
statutes and conventions by any accident or through ignorance, 
and we hope this w 7 ill not be the case, we command that they shall 
strive as quickly as possible to remedy the matter in accordance 
with justice, lest perchance by the delay a greater evil may arise. 

17. Concerning our daughters, moreover, the sisters of our 
aforesaid sons, we order that after our departure from this world 
each one shall be allowed to choose the brother under whose 
guardianship and protection she wishes to be. And if any one of 
them shall have chosen a monastic life, she shall be allowed to 
live in honor under the protection of her brother in whose king- 
dom she has wished to live. Moreover, if any one of them shall 
have been sought in marriage justly and reasonably by a worthy 
man, and the married state shall have been pleasing to her, she 
shall not be refused by her brothers, if the intentions of the man 
who demands and of the woman who consents shall be honorable 
and reasonable. 

18. Concerning our grandsons, the sons of our aforesaid sons, 
already born or who shall be born hereafter, it has pleased us to 
command that no one of our sons, for any reasons whatsoever, 
shall cause any one of the grandsons who has been accused before 
him to be put to death or mutilated or blinded or forcibly shaved 
without a just trial and examination; but we will that they shall 
be honored by their fathers and uncles, and shall be obedient to 
these in all subjection, as is fitting in the case of such rela- 

19. In the last place, it seems to us that this ought to be com- 
manded so that any decrees or constitutions which may be profit- 
able and useful to them, which we may wish to add in the future 
to these our decrees and precepts, shall be observed and obeyed 


by our beloved sons aforesaid, just as we have commanded that 
these decrees and prescriptions shall be obeyed and observed. 

20. Moreover, all of these things, which we have so arranged and 
set forth in order, we have so decreed, that so long as it may please 
the divine majesty to preserve our life, our power shall be the 
same over the kingdom preserved by God and over that empire as 
it has been up to this time in all our royal and imperial rule and 
ordination and domination, and so that we may enjoy the obe- 
dience of our beloved sons aforesaid and of our peoples beloved by 
God, with all the submission which is due to a father from his 
sons, and to an emperor and king from his peoples. Amen.